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MEN AT HOME OR STAY-AT-HOME PARENT? Form of life of the actor househusband in the Brazilian culture

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Raíssa Medici de Oliveira
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: Araraquara. 2019-01-09.
Institution: Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp). Faculdade de Ciências e Letras. Araraquara
Defense date:
Advisor: Edna Maria Fernandes dos Santos Nascimento

After the remarkable spread of the actorial figure “househusband” undertaken by foreign media in the past decades, such figure also started to be observed in the Brazilian culture, especially in texts of the mass culture. Although seen as “novelty” – or precisely because of this –, very little attention has been given, so far, to the investigation of this figure in the Brazilian academic environment. Consequently, the preeminence of this examination was understood, and for that purpose, a research corpus was constituted by integrating an advertising text, a book of chronicles, an autobiographical book, an edition of a TV show from SBT channel, three editions of a section of a TV program from Rede Globo channel and an edition of a show from TV Brasil channel as well. In order to study this corpus, some objectives were set: 1) to investigate the constitution of the actantial, the thematic and the pathemic roles of the actor “househusband” and to identify the form(s) of life assumed by him and/or attributed to him in the different selected texts; 2) to verify the semiotic (“female”) practices performed by the actor “househusband” and to analyze the enunciative strategies employed for the discursive legitimation of both these practices and of this actor; 3) to understand how the different enunciators call the moral values that rule the feminine and masculine behaviors in Brazilian society: how these values are realized, recovering the “cultural imaginary” of that society, or potentialized, giving rise to the manifestation of new values and new forms of life. For the theoretical-methodological reference, French semiotics was adopted, focusing on the concepts of “role”, “actor”, “semiotic practice”, “form of life” and “enunciative praxis”. Therefore, it was verified that, although modalized in a different way in each of the analyzed texts, the actor “househusband” necessarily plays the thematic roles of “housekeeper”, “father” and “husband” and, in many cases, a pathemic role conceived within the manifestation of “shame”. In addition, it was verified that not only the actor performs daily practices related to the care of the children and to household chores, but also that the discursive legitimization of these practices and of this actor is made, among others, through humor, confession and argumentation. In this perspective, it was confirmed a tension that often arises in the constitution of this actor and his form of life, both situated between the revolution and the maintenance of stereotypes and of a hegemonic model of masculinity. All this leads us to conclude that it is between opportunism and opportunity that the new form of life emerges in the various texts/discourses: sometimes the actor takes on the new role and on the new form of life through a “strategic point”, that is, for his own benefit; sometimes he assumes them only temporarily, through a circumstantial situation, such as unemployment; sometimees he assumes them in a shy, “secret” way, still dominated by shame; sometimes he assumes them in a committed, engaged way, effectively opening space for the problematization of the so-called gender roles and practices, as well as for the effective consolidation of a new domestic form of life, perhaps detached from the female actor, from the negative values and entirely opened to identity fluctuations no longer defined exclusively by the opposition between “feminine” and “masculine”. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 15/06213-1 - Men at home: form of life of the actor "house husband" in different language systems
Grantee:Raíssa Medici de Oliveira
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate