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Call for Papers: `New masculinities’? Reshaping the discourse

September 7, 2011

Keele University, UK
Stream convenors:
Pam Alldred, Brunel University, ENGLAND
Umut Ozkaleili, Cyprus International University, CYPRUS
Janaki Rajan, Jamia Millia University, New Delhi, INDIA
Sweta Rajan-Rankin, Brunel University, ENGLAND

This stream seeks to move beyond hegemonic notions of men in society towards a more nuanced
understanding of multiple masculinities in a global context. Men and masculinities, once in the
periphery, have increasingly gained interest in gender studies through discussions around men and
feminism (Murphy, 2004; Digby, 1998), women in male-dominated professions (Corocoran-Nantes
et al, 1995), embodied masculinities in managerial practices (Collinson & Hearn, 1995) and queer
studies and diversity politics (Peterson, 2003). Further, there has been an explosion of studies on
men’s engagement in active fatherhood (Brandth & Kvande, 2002; Brannen, 2006), challenging
assumptions of the ‘distant father’ male-breadwinner stereotype. Despite the gains in masculinity
studies, conflicts and contestations persist around the location of men within women’s studies
(Landreau et al, 2011). We define masculinities both as a discourse(s) and as a set of embodied social
practices which are pivotal to gender, work and organizations and to challenging and reframing
managerial practices (see Kimmel 2004).

Within organizations, masculinities are manifest in the ordering of organizational hierarchies,
such that dominant practices place value on male models of working (Acker, 1990; Smithson et
al, 2005). These are embedded within discourse(s) of masculinity which can promote aggressive
competitive paternalistic practices and undermine more progressive forms of masculinities (Kerfoot
& Knights 1993; 1998). The privileging of hegemonic masculine ideals can thus denigrate and even
suppress other forms of emerging masculinities (Knight & Kerfoot, 2011; Messner, 1992). Critical
examinations of the intersectionalities between race, sexuality, gender and masculinity discourses
(Bhabha, 2000) can help to unpack how these liminal and valid discourses of ‘new masculinities’ can
be given voice in a variety of ways (Anderson 2009).

A limitation in current masculinity studies has been the dominant focus on specific countries
and geographical regions (especially the USA and Western Europe) (McDowell, 2003) without
much research on other parts of the world, such as the emerging markets and developing country
contexts (but see Verma et al, 2003; UNDFW, 2003; Jeffrey et al, 2008). This in turn has meant
that masculinities so represented often reflect white middle-class notions of masculinities (Edwards,
2006), while voices of low-income, blue collar workers, ethnic minorities and sexual minorities
are not always highlighted. Hegemonic masculinities (Connell, 1995), while useful in identifying
structural barriers in the organization of work, have often been harmful to both men and women’s
constructions of gender roles, with more recent challenges to the dominant theory questioning its
utility (Howson 2006). And while global insecurities in the form of the recent economic recession,
civil unrest and rioting in the UK, poor educational attainment among young male students in school,
point to a backlash that would seem to corroborate the continued utility of hegemonic masculinity
theory; particularly given the aggressive competitive paternalistic practices and expectations within

current work climates. Yet research has not sufficiently examined how young men, older male
workers, low income workers, third world workers, men who do ‘feminine’ caring service work, men
who survive competitive demands in the financial sector define, understand and explore their own
shifting masculinities. Nor has it fully addressed how changing cultural attitudes, particularly around
sexuality and religion, and new technologies like the internet affect the embodied practices of men of
all generations in an increasingly globalized world.

Theorizing ‘new masculinities’ is a timely and essential intellectual exercise during these challenging
times. We invite innovative and high quality submissions, especially from an international or
comparative perspective on new masculinities, on these broad topic areas:

Men, masculinities and the media
Unemployment and men’s life experiences during recession
Masculinities and men’s experiences in the caring professions
Post-colonial theory and masculinities in developing countries
Translocalism, gender and masculinities
Gay men in straight worlds
Men, metrosexuality and homophobia
‘Acting out’: Young masculinities and criminal behaviour
Masculinities, pedagogy and schooling
Fatherhood, fathering and masculinities

Abstracts of approximately 500 words (ONE page, Word document NOT PDF, single spaced,
excluding references, no header, footers or track changes) are invited by 1st October 2011 with
decisions on acceptance to be made by stream leaders within one month. All abstracts will be
peer reviewed. New and young scholars with ‘work in progress’ papers are welcomed. Papers can be
theoretical or theoretically informed empirical work. Promoting a more global vision for masculinity
studies, submissions from international authors in and beyond the west are especially welcomed. We
particularly welcome submissions from multi-disciplinary and international teams of scholars. In the
case of co-authored papers, ONE person should be identified as the corresponding author. Note that
due to restrictions of space, multiple submissions by the same author will not be timetabled. Abstracts
should be emailed to sweta.rajan-rankin Abstracts should include FULL contact
details, including your name, institutional affiliation, mailing address, and e-mail address. State the
title of the stream to which you are submitting your abstract.


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