New masculinities in universities? Discourses, ambivalence and potential change

Rebecca Lund*, Susan Meriläinen, Janne Tienari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

In this article, we explore forms and possible implications of new masculinities in universities, and elucidate how they relate to hegemonic masculinity. ‘New masculinities’ coins a particular tradition of naming in Nordic masculinity studies. In the Nordic context, gendered social relations are shaped by State policies and equality discourses, which are increasingly embracing father-friendly initiatives. New masculinities refers to the increased involvement of men in caring practices and especially in fathering. Our empirical study comprises in-depth interviews with young male academics in a Finnish business school. We elucidate, first, the ambivalence and struggles between masculinities in the discourses of these men and, second, how the construction of masculinities is specific to societal, sociocultural and local contexts. Relations of class, and middle-class notions of the ‘good life’ in particular, emerge as central for understanding the experiences of these men. Beyond the Nordic countries, we argue that while the change potential of caring masculinity stems from particular contexts, the concept of new masculinities is helpful in capturing the ambivalence and struggles between hegemonic and caring masculinities rather than dismissing the latter as subordinate to the former.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalGender, Work and Organization
Volume26
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1376-1397
Number of pages22
ISSN0968-6673
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20.05.2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed

Keywords

  • 512 Business and Management
  • caring masculinity
  • class
  • fathering
  • hegemonic masculinity
  • new masculinities
  • Nordic countries
  • university

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