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The Personal is Political … just not Always Progressive: Thinking and Re-Thinking Men and Emotions
Örebro University, School of Music, Theatre and Art. (Aesthetics, Culture and Media)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9067-9496
2016 (English)In: Global Societies: Fragmenting and Connecting: BSA Annual Conference 2016, Aston University, Birmingham, Wednesday 6 - Friday 8 April 2016, BSA Publications Ltd. , 2016, p. 79-79Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

There is a widespread belief that a majority of men, in the US, the UK and Western Europe, are getting ‘more in touch’ with their emotions, leading to a ‘softening’ of masculinity. Feminist and profeminist campaigners have (rightly) cited an increasing understanding of men’s emotional lives, and getting men to understand their own emotions, as central to any project addressing gender inequality. Psychologists have also linked greater emotional self-attunement as key to tackling men’s underreporting of depression and (both separately and in connection with) high suicide rates. In short: men being ‘more emotional’ is almost always seen as progressive.

There is a problem, however, with narratives around increasingly ‘more emotional’ men. Not only do these fail to engage with historical precedents, they divide ‘progressive’ from ‘regressive’ men without accounting for structural power relations impacting on ideas around progress and regression. Furthermore, assuming that men’s emotions are inherently gender-progressive, ignores more sinister examples of antifeminist rage, easily identifiable through men’s rights activism and online misogyny.

This paper argues that we need to engage critically with how we think about both emotions and a history of emotions in relation to gender equality. Considering how emotions are put into language as well as the mechanisms by which societies are expected to articulate and measure certain emotions have an impact on how we characterize emotions and ‘emotional’ behaviour. In focusing on these areas, this paper aims to contribute a critical analysis on a developing and much-needed area of sociological research on men and emotions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BSA Publications Ltd. , 2016. p. 79-79
Keywords [en]
Emotion, Affect, Critical studies on men and masculinities, Csmm, men, masculinity
National Category
Gender Studies
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-64582ISBN: 9780904569469 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-64582DiVA, id: diva2:1177985
Conference
Societies in Transition: Progression or Regression? BSA Annual Conference, Aston University, Birmingham, England, April 6-8, 2016
Available from: 2018-01-26 Created: 2018-01-26 Last updated: 2018-01-29Bibliographically approved

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Global Societies: Fragmenting and Connecting

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de Boise, Sam

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
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  • Other style
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Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
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More languages
Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
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