Gender and women's studies is one of the most challenging fields within the social sciences-the dynamics of gender relations and the social and cultural implications of gender constructions offer a lively forum of debate. The Handbook of Gender and Women's Studies presents a comprehensive and engaging review of the most recent developments within the field, including the study of masculinity, the feminist implications of postmodernism, the 'cultural turn' and globalization. The authors review current research and offer critical analyses of women's and gender studies in work, the welfare state, family, education, religion, violence and war and feminist global politics. Edited by three leading academics from Europe and the United States, and with 25 chapters written by scholars based throughout the world, the Handbook situates the most important debates in the field within a uniquely international and interdisciplinary context. The Handbook is a useful introduction to gender theory and an exciting starting-point for fresh debates.
Chapter 7: The Crisis in Masculinity
The Crisis in Masculinity
Discussions about a ‘crisis in masculinity’ are widespread. This idea of a crisis can be formulated as a relationship between some immediate experiences and responses on the part of men (young men in particular) which are linked to changes in employment, the family, and the gender order and which together are constituted as a more general crisis. Focusing mainly on issues of health and education, this chapter argues that it is possible to talk about a crisis in relation to specific groups of men. Whether these specific issues can be taken as a sign of a more generalized crisis is less clear.
It is likely that the word ‘crisis’ is one of the most frequently used words in contemporary ...