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Framing 'men in feminism': theoretical locations, local contexts and practical passings in men's gender-conscious positionings on gender equality and feminism
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2009 (English)In: Journal of Gender Studies, ISSN 0958-9236, E-ISSN 1465-3869, Vol. 18, no 4, 403-418 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article addresses some aspects of the 'Man Question' in feminism, by way of the analysis of men's diverse gender-conscious positionings in relation to gender, gender equality and feminism. It builds on earlier work, making use of theoretical models in feminist literature combined with the micro-sociological concept of passing. The article is primarily concerned with the theoretical and empirical complexities, contradictions and ambiguities of men's positionings, as when they are self-defined as 'feminists' (or similar identifications) in radical or deconstructive ways. In this, Swedish interview data are used. Sweden is considered particularly interesting, with a qualified societal consensus on gender equality and a broadly positive place accorded to men's relations with feminism. The authors argue in the final section that there is a need to further dialogue between analyses of men/masculinities and the multidimensionality of feminisms, as well as a need for more empirical studies of men's different (pro) feminist positionings in order to elaborate the theoretical implications of different social contexts. The framing presented seeks to provide greater possibilities for such complex, nuanced and situated understandings of men's relation to feminism, theoretically, analytically and politically.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Routledge , 2009. Vol. 18, no 4, 403-418 p.
Keyword [en]
feminism, gender equality, men, masculinity, passing, positioning
National Category
Sociology Gender Studies
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-108801DOI: 10.1080/09589230903260076ISI: 000276077600007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-108801DiVA: diva2:240824
Available from: 2009-09-30 Created: 2009-09-30 Last updated: 2011-03-10Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. IngenMansLand: om män som feminister, intervjuframträdanden och passerandets politik
Open this publication in new window or tab >>IngenMansLand: om män som feminister, intervjuframträdanden och passerandets politik
2011 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
No Man's Land : Men as Feminists, Interview Performances and the Politics of Passing
Abstract [en]

This thesis explores constructions of gendered and gender political positions and practices of men identifying as ‘feminist’. The analysis is based on qualitative interviews with 28 men aged 20-34. At issue is how seemingly contradictory positions for men as feminists are made comprehensible in theory and practice.

An introduction showcase theoretical discussions on gendered experiences and the possibilities of men being feminist, mainly from standpoint, radical feminist and poststructuralist radical constructionist perspectives. Men doing feminism emerge as an unresolved complex matter. This is followed by a critical discussion of state feminism, double emancipation and research on men and masculinities in the welfare state. The support for men’s participation, predominantly as white heterosexual fathers, in the Swedish gender equality project has consequences for the construction of men as potentially ‘new’, ‘good’ gender equal feminist subjects. In the construction of profeminist positions in interview performances, interviewees are located in-between the radical feminist, poststructuralist and gender equality perspectives on men, masculinity and feminism.

Two themes involve an implementation of the concept of passing and introduce the analytical concept of co-fielding. Passing consists of the microsociological process of making radical and deconstructive profeminist positions authentic and yet being able to manage masculinity in homosocial contexts.

Co-fielding refers to the conjoint interlacing of experiences, knowledge and meaning-making in interview interaction where relations of researcher-researched are characterized by discursive closeness and overlapping positions. Co-fielding practices affect the outcomes of co-construction of interview performances, the negotiation of gender and power relations and the reflexive use of (in this case feminist) knowledge in qualitative interviews.

In analyzing the presentations of self, ambiguous meanings of profeminist positions emerge and the doing, undoing and redoing of feminism and masculinity appear multi-faceted. Radical feminism and radical constructionism seem intersected in making men’s feminist positions comprehensible. Such rebellious positions emerge as oxymoronic and, when critically brought into the gender equality context, located in a no man’s land out of place.

In all, the thesis seeks to bring together theoretical, national and empirical locations of profeminist men, and in a concluding chapter also explore issues of ethics in feminist research and cross-gender interviewing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2011. 133 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 65
men, masculinity, feminism, feminist men, profeminism, radical feminism, poststructuralist feminism, radical constructionism, gender equality, state feminism, double emancipation, masculinity politics, performance, performativity, doing gender, Goffman, interview interaction, qualitative interviews, cross-gender interviewing, passing, position, homosociality, reflexivity, situational analysis, co-fielding
National Category
Sociology Gender Studies
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-145853 (URN)978-91-554-8005-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-03-26, sal IX, Universitetshuset, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala, 10:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2011-03-04 Created: 2011-02-11 Last updated: 2011-05-04

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