Male hegemony and the English Canadian novel*

Authors


  • *I would like to thank Linda Grayson and my students in Sociology 677, 1981-82, for helpful comments made on an earlier draft of this paper. I am also grateful to the Social Science and Humanities Research Council for providing me with a leave fellowship to complete the work on which this article is based.

Abstract

D'après un examen des romans canadiens-anglais couvrant une période de 200 ans, il est clair que le roman canadien-anglais est un véhicule servant à perpétuer l'hégémonie masculine. Au cours de la période en question, la grande majorité des romans exprimait une acceptation de la subordination de la femme. Seuls quelques-uns ont soit jeté un doute sur cette position, soit rejeté entièrement la position inférieure de la femme, mais ce sentiment s'est manifesté seulement au cours des dernieres années. Il est étonnant qu'au xxe siècle, le fait de douter ou de rejeter la subordination féminine ne soit pas associé au doute ou au rejet de la structure des classes.

From an examination of English Canadian novels over a 200-year period, it is clear that the English Canadian novel is a vehicle for the perpetuation of male hegemony. Over the time period in question, the vast majority of novels embodied an acceptance of women's subordination. Only a few have either questioned or rejected women's inferior position. Moreover, the latter sentiment has only become manifest in recent years. Surprisingly, however, in the twentieth century, a questioning or rejection of women's subordination is not associated with a questioning or rejection of the class structure.

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