The Culture of Loss and Tragic Masculinity in Post-Soviet Georgia
[Kul’tura utraty i tragicheskaia maskulinnost’ v postsovetskoi Gruzii]
Type of publication: Research Article
Georgia, male friendship, male ethos, hospitality, street culture, street violence, tragic masculinity, culture of loss, dzmak’atcoba
The post-Soviet crisis in Georgia brought about the growth of street violence and the spread of alcoholism and drug addiction. It was the men who turned out most vulnerable in the face of these issues. The “culture of loss”, which was characteristic of the underprivileged part of the Georgian society and became the building block of interpersonal ties, expressed itself most saliently in re-thought masculinities where human problems were elevated in significance, men’s fates were seen as tragic and heroic, and male friendship was raised to the rank of social necessity. The crisis entailed changes both in family life and in household economy – changes which in turn could not have occurred without a revision of principles and moral orientations setting and legitimizing gender roles. This article focuses specifically on the male ethos and its “tragic” dimension in post-Soviet Georgia. I discuss the changes that the male ethos underwent by taking the cases of those who are thought of as “regular Georgian men”. I examine the particular facets of their personality that were shaped in response to the social and economic hardships of the 1990s, which significantly affected men. Finally, I address the issue of male friendship as a form of social bonding that conforms particularly well to the ethos of tragic masculinity.
Ferry, M. The Culture of Loss and Tragic Masculinity in Post-Soviet Georgia [Kul’tura utraty i tragicheskaia maskulinnost’ v postsovetskoi Gruzii] 2020. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 3: 161–176. https://doi.org/10.31857/S086954150009608-8
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