Global Discourse
An interdisciplinary journal of current affairs

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

Author: Jeff Hearn1
View author details View Less
  • 1 Hanken School of Economics, , Finland, University of Huddersfield, , UK, and Örebro University, , Sweden
Restricted access
Get eTOC alerts
Rights and permissions Cite this article

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.

  • Aavik, K. (2021) Vegan men: towards greater care for (non)human others, Earth and self, in P. Pulé and M. Hultman (eds) Men, Masculinities and Earth: Contending with the (M)Anthropocene, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, pp 32950.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Adams, C.J. (2010 [1990]) The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory, New York: Continuum.

  • Akrich, M. and Latour, B. (1992) A summary of a convenient vocabulary for the semiotics of human and nonhuman assemblies, in W.E. Bijker and J. Law (eds) Shaping Technology/Building Society: Studies in Sociotechnical Change, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, pp 25964.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ba, H.L.K. (2017) Development, Transition, and Crisis in the International System, 1870–2009, PhD thesis, USA: University of North Carolina.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Beck, U. (2000) What is Globalization?, Cambridge: Polity.

  • Bergman-Rosamond, A., Gammeltoft-Hansen, T., Hamza, M., Hearn, J., Ramasar, V. and Rydström, H. (2020) The case for interdisciplinary crisis studies, Global Discourse. 10.1332/204378920X15802967811683

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bettio, F., Corsi, M., D’Ippoliti, C., Liberaky, A., Lodovici, M.S. and Verashchagina, A. (2013) The Impact of the Economic Crisis on the Situation of Women and Men and on Gender Equality Policies, Luxembourg: European Union Publishing Office.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bliss, S. (1985) Fathers and sons, The Men’s Journal, Spring: 3. 

  • Boonzaier, F., Huysamen, M. and van Niekerk, T. (2020) Men from the South: feminist, decolonial and intersectional perspectives on men, masculinities and intimate partner violence, in L. Gottzén, M. Bjørnholt and F. Boonzaier (eds) Men, Masculinities and Intimate Partner Violence, London: Routledge, pp 18499.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Brittan, A. (1989) Masculinity and Power, Oxford: Blackwell.

  • Butler, J. (1990) Gender Trouble, New York: Routledge.

  • Carrigan, T., Connell, R.W. and Lee, J. (1985) Towards a new sociology of masculinity, Theory and Society, 14(5): 551604.

  • Centre for Gender and Disaster (2020) Gender and Disaster: Bibliography & Reference Guide, vol 1, London: UCL.

  • Cleaver, F. (ed) (2002) Masculinities Matter! Men, Gender and Development, London: Zed.

  • Confortini, C. (2006) Galtung, violence, and gender: the case for a peace studies/feminism alliance, Peace & Change, 31(3): 33367.

  • Connell, R. (1983) Which Way Is Up?, Sydney: Allen & Unwin.

  • Connell, R. (1987) Gender and Power, Oxford: Blackwell.

  • Connell, R. (1993) The big picture: masculinities in recent world history, Theory and Society, 22(5): 597623.

  • Connell, R. (1995) Masculinities, Cambridge: Polity.

  • Connell, R. (1998) Masculinities and globalization, Men and Masculinities, 1(1): 323.

  • Connell, R. (2014) Margin becoming centre: for a world-centred rethinking of masculinities, NORMA: International Journal for Masculinity Studies, 9(4): 21731.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Connell, R. and Messerschmidt, J.W. (2005) Hegemonic masculinity: rethinking the concept, Gender & Society, 19(6): 82959.

  • Cornwall, A. and Lindisfarne, N. (eds) (1994) Dislocating Masculinity: Comparative Ethnographies, London: Routledge.

  • Cornwall, A., Edström, J. and Greig, A. (eds) (2011) Men and Development: Politicizing Masculinities, London: Zed.

  • Cornwall, A., Karioris, F.G. and Lindisfarne, N. (eds) (2016) Masculinities under Neoliberalism, London: Zed.

  • Donaldson, M. (1993) What is hegemonic masculinity?, Theory and Society, 22(5): 64357.

  • Donaldson, M., Hibbins, R., Howson, R. and Pease, B. (eds) (2009) Migrant Men: Critical Studies of Masculinities and the Migration Experience, New York: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Edwards, T. (2006) Cultures of Masculinity, New York: Routledge.

  • Ehrenreich, B. (1983) The Hearts of Men, London: Pluto.

  • Elliott, K. (2016) Caring masculinities: theorizing an emerging concept, Men and Masculinities, 19(3): 24059.

  • Elson, D. (2010) Gender and the global economic crisis in developing countries: a framework for analysis, Gender and Development, 18(2): 20112.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Enarson, E. and Pease, B. (eds) (2016) Men, Masculinities and Disasters, New York: Routledge.

  • Enloe, C. (2013) Seriously! Investigating Crashes and Crises as if Women Mattered, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

  • Fanon, F. (1967) Black Skin, White Masks, New York: Grove.

  • Fausto-Sterling, A. (2000) Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality, New York: Basic Books.

  • Friedman, S. and Sarah, E. (eds) (1983) On the Problem of Men, London: Women’s Press.

  • Fuentes-Nieva, R. and Galasso, N. (2014) Working for the Few: Political Capture and Economic Inequality, Oxford: Oxfam International.

  • Gardiner, J.K. (ed) (2002) Masculinity Theory and Feminist Theory, New York: Columbia University Press.

  • Garlick, S. (2016) The Nature of Masculinity: Critical Theory, New Materialisms, and Technologies of Embodiment, Victoria: University of British Columbia Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Garlick, S. (2019) The return of nature: feminism, hegemonic masculinities, and new materialisms, Men and Masculinities, 22(2): 380403.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gerhardt, U. (1980) Toward a critical analysis of role, Social Problems, 27(5): 55669.

  • Gilbert, J. (2005) Men in the Middle: Searching for Masculinity in the 1950s, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

  • Gilmore, D. (1990) Manhood in the Making, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

  • Gottzén, L., Mellström, U. and Shefer, T. (eds) (2020) Routledge International Handbook of Masculinity Studies, London: Routledge.

  • Griffin, P. (2009) Gendering the World Bank, Neoliberalism and the Gendered Foundations of Global Governance, Houndmills: Palgrave.

  • Griffin, P. (2013) Gendering global finance: crisis, masculinity, and responsibility, Men and Masculinities, 16(1): 934.

  • Habermas, J. (1975) Legitimation Crisis, Boston, MA: Beacon.

  • Halberstam, J. (1998) Female Masculinity, Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

  • Hanmer, J. (1990) Men, power and the exploitation of women, in J. Hearn and D. Morgan (eds) Men, Masculinities and Social Theory, London: Unwin Hyman/Routledge, pp 2142.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Haraway, D. (1992) The promises of monsters: a regenerative politics for inappropriate/d others, in L. Grossberg, C. Nelson and P. Treichler (eds) Cultural Studies, New York: Routledge, pp 295337.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hearn, J. (1987) The Gender of Oppression: Men, Masculinity and the Critique of Marxism, New York: St. Martin’s.

  • Hearn, J. (1996) Deconstructing the dominant: making the One(s) the Other(s), Organization, 3(4): 61126.

  • Hearn, J. (2004) From hegemonic masculinity to the hegemony of men, Feminist Theory, 5(1): 4972.

  • Hearn, J. (2012a) Male bodies, masculine bodies, men’s bodies: the need for a concept of gex, in B.S. Turner (ed) Routledge Handbook of Body Studies, London: Routledge, pp 30720.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hearn, J. (2012b) A multi-faceted power analysis of men’s violence to known women: from hegemonic masculinity to the hegemony of men, Sociological Review, 60(4): 589610.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hearn, J. (2014) Men, masculinities and the material(-)discursive, NORMA: The International Journal of Masculinity Studies, 9(1): 517.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hearn, J. (2015) Men of the World: Genders, Globalizations, Transnational Times, London: Sage.

  • Hearn, J. (2019) So what has been, is, and might be going on in studying men and masculinities? Some continuities and discontinuities, Men and Masculinities, 22(1): 5363.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hearn, J. and Roberts, I. (1976) Planning under difficulties: the move to decrementalism, in K. Jones (ed) The Yearbook of Social Policy in Britain 1975, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, pp 318.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hearn, J., Blagojevic, M. and Harrison, K. (eds) (2013) Rethinking Transnational Men: Transnational Dispersed Centres, Gender Power, Contradictions, London: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hearn, J., Nordberg, M., Andersson, K., Balkmar, D., Gottzén, L., Klinth, R., Pringle, K. and Sandberg, L. (2012) Hegemonic masculinity and beyond: 40 years of research in Sweden, Men and Masculinities, 15(1): 3155.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hearn, J., Nordberg, M., Andersson, K., Balkmar, D., Gottzén, L., Klinth, R., Pringle, K. and Sandberg, L. (2012) Hegemonic masculinity and beyond: 40 years of research in Sweden, Men and Masculinities, 15(1): 3155.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hearn, J., Strid, S., Humbert, A.L., Balkmar, D. and Delaunay, M. (2020) From gender regimes to violence regimes: re-thinking the position of violence, Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society. doi:  10.1093/sp/jxaa022.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hearn, J., Vasquez del Aquila, E. and Hughson, M. (eds) (2018) Unsustainable Institutions of Men, London: Sage.

  • Ho, K. (2009) Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street, Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

  • Hodapp, C. (2017) Men’s Rights, Gender, and Social Media, London: Lexington.

  • hooks, b. (1984) Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center, Boston, MA: South End Press.

  • Hooper, C. (2001) Manly States: Masculinities, International Relations and Gender Politics, New York: Columbia University Press.

  • Hopkins, P. and Gorman-Murray, A. (eds) (2014) Masculinities and Place, Aldershot: Ashgate.

  • Hountondji, P.J. (1997) Introduction: recentring Africa, in P.J. Hountondji (ed) Endogenous Knowledge: Research Trails, Dakar: CODESRIA, pp 139.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hultman, M. and Pulé, P. (2018) Ecological Masculinities, London: Routledge.

  • Innes, R.A. and Anderson, K. (eds) (2015) Indigenous Men and Masculinities, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press.

  • Jones, A. (ed) (2006) Men of the Global South: A Reader, London: Zed.

  • Kabesh, A.T. (2016) Postcolonial Masculinities, London: Routledge. 

  • Kimmel, M. (2013) Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era, New York: Nation.

  • Kimmel, M., Hearn, J. and Connell, R. (eds) (2005) The Handbook of Studies of Men and Masculinities, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

  • Läubli, M. and Sahli, S. (eds) (2011) Männlichkeiten Denken: Männlichkeitskonzepte aus Kulturwissenschaftlicher Sicht [Thinking Masculinities: Concepts of Masculinities from a Socio-cultural Perspective], Bielefeld: Transcript.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Levant, R.F. (1997) The masculinity crisis, Journal of Men’s Studies, 5(3): 22131.

  • Lorber, J. (ed) (2005) Gender Inequality: Feminist Theories and Politics, Los Angeles, CA: Roxbury.

  • Lugones, M. (2010) Toward a decolonial feminism, Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, 25(4): 74259.

  • Lykke, N. (2010) The timeliness of post-constructionism, NORA – Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research, 18(2): 1316.

  • Lykke, N. (2012) Feminist Studies, New York: Routledge.

  • MacLean, N. (2017) Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, London: Scribe.

  • Mayer, J. (2016) Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires, New York: Doubleday.

  • McCarthy, L., Soundararajan, V. and Taylor, S. (2020) The hegemony of men in global value chains: why it matters for labour governance, Human Relations. doi:  10.1177/0018726720950816

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McDowell, L. (2000) The trouble with men? Young people, gender transformations and the crisis of masculinity, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 24(1): 2019.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mellström, U. (2017) A restoration of classic patriarchy?, NORMA: The International Journal for Masculinity Studies, 12(1): 14.

  • MenEngage Alliance (2020) Discussion paper for Ubuntu symposium kick-off 10–12 November, Kigali, Rwanda.

  • Messerschmidt, J.W. (2019) The salience of ‘hegemonic masculinity’, Men and Masculinities, 22(1): 8591.

  • Messerschmidt, J.W. and Bridges, T. (2017) Trump and the politics of fluid masculinities, Gender & Society,  https://gendersociety.wordpress.com/2017/07/21/trump-and-the-politics-of-fluid-masculinities/.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mogensen, C. and Helding Rand, S. (2019) Vrede Unge Maend, Copenhagen: Center for Digital Pædagogik.

  • Monro, S. (2005) Gender Politics: Activism, Citizenship and Sexual Diversity, London: Pluto.

  • Morgan, D. (2005) Class and masculinity, in M. Kimmel, J. Hearn and R.W. Connell (eds) Handbook of Studies on Men and Masculinities, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, pp 16577.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Morrell, R. (ed) (2001) Changing Men in Southern Africa, Durban and London: University of Natal Press and Zed.

  • Morrell, R., Jewkes, R. and Lindegger, G. (2012) Hegemonic masculinity/ies in South Africa: culture, power and gender politics, Men and Masculinities, 15(1): 1130.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Novikova, I. et al (2003) Men, ‘Europe’ and post-socialism, in I. Novikova and D. Kambourov (eds) Men and Masculinities in the Global World: Integrating Postsocialist Perspectives, Helsinki: Aleksanteri Institute/Kikimora, pp 75102.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Novikova, I. et al (2005) Men, masculinities and ‘Europe’, in M. Kimmel, J. Hearn and R.W. Connell (eds) Handbook of Studies on Men and Masculinities, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, pp 14162.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ouzgane, L. and Coleman, D. (1998) Postcolonial masculinities: introduction, Jouvert: A Journal of Postcolonial Studies, 2(1),  https://legacy.chass.ncsu.edu/jouvert/v2i1/INT21.HTM.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Parpart, J.L. and Zalewski, M. (eds) (2008) Rethinking the Man Question: Sex, Gender and Violence in International Relations, London: Zed.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pease, B. (2019) Recreating men’s relationship with nature: toward a profeminist environmentalism, Men and Masculinities, 22(1): 11323.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pease, B. and Pringle, K. (eds) (2002) A Man’s World: Changing Men’s Practices in a Globalized World, London: Zed.

  • Philpponnat, T. (2014) Can finance be put in the service of the transition?, Francqui International Conference 2014, The EU’s Fifth Project: ‘Transitional Governance in the Service of Sustainable Societies’, Brussels.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pietilä, I., Calasanti, T., Ojala, H. and King, N. (2020) Is retirement a crisis for men? Class and adjustment to retirement, Men and Masculinities, 23(2): 30625.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Piketty, T. (2014) Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

  • Pleck, J.H. (1995) The gender role strain paradigm: an update, in R. Levant and W.S. Pollack (eds) A New Psychology of Men, New York: Basic Books, pp 1132.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Portillo, H. and Molano, S. (2017) Masculinity, machismo and corruption, Voice Male, 25 June, https://voicemalemagazine.org/masculinity-machismo-corruption/. 

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pulé, P. and Hultman, M. (eds) (2021) Men, Masculinities and the Earth: Contending with the (M)Anthropocene, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ratele, K. (2021) An invitation to decoloniality in work on (African) men and masculinities, Gender, Place & Culture, 28(6): 76985.

  • Räty, R. and Carlsson-Kanyama, A. (2009) Comparing Energy Use by Gender, Age, and Income in Some European Countries, Stockholm: Totalförsvarets forskningsinstitut.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ricciardelli, L.A., Mellor, D. and McCabe, M.P. (2012) The quiet crisis: challenges for men's health in Australia, InPsych: The Bulletin of the Australian Psychological Society, 34(4): 10.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ricciardelli, L.A., Mellor, D. and McCabe, M.P. (2012) The quiet crisis: challenges for men’s health in Australia, InPsych: The Bulletin of the Australian Psychological Society, 34(4): 10.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Riley, D. (1988) ‘Am I That Name?’: Feminism and the Category of ‘Women’ in History, London: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Robinson, S. (2000) Marked Men: White Masculinity in Crisis, New York: Columbia University Press.

  • Roitman, J. (2014) Anti-crisis, Durham NC: Duke University Press.

  • Ruspini, E., Hearn, J., Pease, B. and Pringle, K. (eds) (2011) Men and Masculinities around the World, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Ruxton, S. and Burrell, S.R. (2020) Masculinities and COVID-19: Making the Connections, Washington, DC: Promundo-US.

  • Schuberth, H. and Young, B. (2011) The role of gender in governance of the financial sector, in B. Young, I. Bakker and D. Elson (eds) Questioning Financial Governance from a Feminist Perspective, London: Routledge, pp 13254.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shefer, T., Ratele, K., Strebel, A., Shabalala, N. and Buikema, R. (eds) (2007) From Boys to Men: Social Constructions of Masculinity in Contemporary Society, Cape Town: University of Cape Town Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Silverman, K. (1992) Male Subjectivity at the Margins, New York: Routledge.

  • Starck, K. and Luyt, R. (2019) Political masculinities, crisis tendencies, and social transition: toward an understanding of change, Men and Masculinities, 22(3): 43143.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sum, N.L. and Jessop, B. (2013) Towards a Cultural Political Economy: Putting Culture in Its Place in Political Economy, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tegmark, M. (2017) Life 3.0, New York: Vintage.

  • Tolson, A. (1977) The Limits of Masculinity, London: Tavistock.

  • Van der Gaag, N. (2014) Feminism & Men, London: Zed.

  • Walby, S. (2013) Finance versus democracy? Theorizing finance in society, Work, Employment and Society, 27(3): 489507.

  • Walby, S. (2015) Crisis, New York: Wiley.

  • Whitehead, S.M. and Barrett, F. (2001) The sociology of masculinity, in S.M. Whitehead and F.J. Barrett (eds) The Masculinities Reader, Malden, MA: Polity, pp 126.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wiegman, R. (2002) Unmaking: men and masculinity in feminist theory, in J.K. Gardiner (ed) Masculinity Studies and Feminist Theory, New York: Columbia University Press, pp 3159.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wiegman, R. (2012) Object Lessons, Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

  • Witt, T.D. (2018) Affect, identity, and conceptualizations of feminism and feminists on the Antifeminist r/Mensrights subreddit, master’s thesis, University of British Columbia, Canada.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Yekani, E.H. (2011) The Privilege of Crisis, Frankfurt: Campus Verlag.

  • Young, B., Bakker, I. and Elson, D. (eds) (2011) Questioning Financial Governance from a Feminist Perspective, London: Routledge.

  • Zalewski, M. and Parpart, J. (eds) (1998) The ‘Man’ Question in International Relations, Oxford: Westview.

  • Zaloom, C. (2006) Out of the Pits: Traders and Technology from Chicago to London, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

  • Zdravomyslova, E. and Temkina, A. (2012) The crisis of masculinity in late Soviet discourse, Russian Studies in History, 51(2): 1334.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zheng, T. (2015) Masculinity in crisis: effeminate men, loss of manhood, and the nation-state in postsocialist China, Etnográfica, 19(2): 34765.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 1 Hanken School of Economics, , Finland, University of Huddersfield, , UK, and Örebro University, , Sweden

Content Metrics

May 2022 onwards Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 33 33 33
Full Text Views 21 21 2
PDF Downloads 23 23 3

Altmetrics

Dimensions