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

27 Citations (Scopus)


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
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1376-1397
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 20.05.2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


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

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Responsible organising


Dive into the research topics of 'New masculinities in universities? Discourses, ambivalence and potential change'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this