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'The Expressive Male': Thinking Critically about Emotions in Critical Studies on Men and Masculinities
Örebro University, School of Music, Theatre and Art. (Aesthetics, Culture and Media)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9067-9496
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland; University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9808-1413
2016 (English)In: The 7th Midterm Conference on Emotions, Stockholm: Abstracts, 2016, p. 18-18Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In his (1976) article, The Inexpressive Male: Tragedy or Sexual Politics? Sattel made the case that men’s relative lack of emotional expression emerged as a direct result of, and helped to sustain, men’s social privilege. 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. Some scholars within Critical studies on Men and Masculinities (CSMM), too, have often made the case that men need to become ‘more emotional’.

Various authors have documented empirical research that argues, as a result of feminist gains, men are gradually getting ‘more in touch’ with their emotions, leading to a ‘softening’ of masculinity. There is a problem, however, with narratives around increasingly ‘more emotional’ men. These often fail to engage with literature on emotions and historical precedents of men being valued for displays of ‘authentic’ emotions - through music for instance – which have often supported privilege. In addition, assuming that men’s emotions are inherently gender-progressive, ignores more sinister examples of men’s rights activism, violence and online misogyny.

This paper argues for the need to engage critically with how we think about both emotions and a history of emotions, in relation to CSMM. Considering how emotions are put into language, as well as the mechanisms by which emotions are identified and understood, have an impact on how emotions and ‘emotional’ behaviour are characterized in both research and everyday life. Crucially, it is important to retain a focus on the embodied aspects of experience. We suggest distinguishing between emotions, affect and kindred concepts as a productive way to approach issues of power and embodied experience in CSMM. Focusing on these areas, this paper aims to contribute a critical analysis on a developing and much-needed area of research.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. p. 18-18
National Category
Gender Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-64585OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-64585DiVA, id: diva2:1177994
Conference
7th Midterm Conference of the ESA RN Sociology of Emotions, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden, August 25-27, 2016
Available from: 2018-01-26 Created: 2018-01-26 Last updated: 2018-01-29Bibliographically approved

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The 7th Midterm Conference on Emotions, Stockholm. Abstracts

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de Boise, SamHearn, Jeff

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