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Abstracts, NORMA 4.2

Power and structure in studies of men and masculinities

Øystein Gullvåg Holter

This paper describes an androcentric tendency in international studies of men and masculinities, where relations between men become the main topic and the focus remains homosocial. Despite profeminist intentions, women’s agency is often missing in the research. It connects this tendency to a too narrow view of gender equality, and discusses how gender equality can be better integrated in the field’s paradigmatic framework. It argues that this requires a reexamination of theories of gender inequality and patriarchal structures, including approaches where gender is seen as an economic and sociomaterial structure, as well as a power structure. Gender has been insufficiently located and contextualized e. g. in terms of the segregation of work and care in society, production and reproduction spheres. The paper presents new evidence on the importance of economic factors for men’s contribution to gender equality, and discusses hegemonic masculinity and the “patriarchal dividend” on this basis. In conclusion, three ways forward are proposed: better empirical masculinity and gender equality research, improved structure and patriarchy analyses, and bridging concepts and methods.

hegemonic masculinity, gender equality, feminist economy, gender theory, social forms

NORMA: Nordic Journal for Masculinity Studies 4(2), 132-150.


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