Exploring Filipino Seafarers’ Masculinity Onboard and at Home through Linguistic Discourses

Marjorie Ablanido Maido, PhD student
Doctoral School of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences
Eötvös Loraˇnd University, Hungary
e-mail: mmarjorie77@gmail.com


Drawing from Filipino seafarers’ narratives regarding their firsthand experiences of gossip or gossiping onboard international ocean-going vessels, this paper analyzes the masculinities expressed by Filipino seafarers while they are on board and at home through linguistic discourses of gossip and spousal arguments or compromise. The data is supplemented by the interviews of seafarers’ wives regarding masculinities while the seafarers are at home. The ship as a workplace dominated by men reinforces masculine traits and behavior where different masculinities are displayed and expressed. Gossip is prevalent among Filipino seafarers as part of their cultural makeup and is used both as a socialization tool and a strategy to accumulate onboard social capital. Onboard gossip exposes the seafarer’s agentic flaws – his incompetence, unacceptable work attitudes, and work ethics. For Filipino seafarers, this topic stresses how they capitalize on their workplace reputation, which is crucial in the continuance of their careers. Also, onboard gossip exposes biases against management styles and targets queer seafarers. Masculinities at home are expressed through compromises and arguments on sustaining the “good provider/good father/good son” roles of the seafarer despite the temporary loss of income to reinstate the seafarer’s relevance in the family.

Keywords: seafarer, gossip, compromise, argument, masculinity, Filipino


How to cite:
Maido, M. A. (2021). “Exploring Filipino Seafarers’ Masculinity Onboard and at Home through Linguistic Discourses.” Journal of Comparative Studies 14 (43), 28–58. https://doi.org/10.59893/jcs.14(43).003