The place and potential of crisis/crises in critical studies on men and masculinities

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Abstract

This article derives from considering the interrelations of two sets of long-term international work: that on interdisciplinary crisis studies and that on critical studies on men and masculinities. More specifically, it interrogates the place and potential of crisis and crises in the politics and problematics of men and masculinities, including how crisis can be a driver of critical studies on men and masculinities. Further to this, four main forms of deployment of crisis within critical studies on men and masculinities are interrogated. There is a well-elaborated debate on what has come to be called ‘the crisis of masculinity’. Interestingly, this takes very different shapes, sometimes even opposite constructions, in different parts of the world and within different discourses. Even with this diversity, crisis is often presented as ‘fact’, identity and a result of ‘role confusion’ for boys, young men and men around what it might mean to be a boy and man in contemporary times. This approach contrasts with those foregrounding more endogenous crisis tendencies, first, within patriarchal relations and then of gender itself, with associated deconstructions of men and masculinity. Meanwhile, within critical studies on men and masculinities, there has been a relative neglect, at least until recently, of large-scale global crises. Key examples include financial crisis, political crisis, ecological crisis and pandemic crisis. In short, there appears to have been over-recognition of the ‘crisis of masculinity’, some recognition of crisis tendencies of patriarchal relations and of gender, and under-recognition of crises created or reinforced largely by certain men and masculinities globally and transnationally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563-585
Number of pages23
JournalGlobal Discourse
Volume12
Issue number3-4
Early online date23 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2022

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