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Project ID: HPSE-CT-1999-00008
Finanziato nell'ambito di: FP5-HUMAN POTENTIAL
Paese: United Kingdom

The social problem of men: Academic research

The general state of studies on men:
The state of studies on men in the 10 national contexts varies in terms of volume and detail of research, the ways in which research has been framed, as well as substantive differences in men’s societal position and social practices. The framing of research refers to the extent to which research on men has been conducted directly and in an explicitly gendered way, the relation of these studies to feminist scholarship, Women’s Studies and Gender Research more generally, and the extent to which research on men is focused on and presents ‘voices’ of men or those affected by men. Other differences include different theoretical, methodological and disciplinary emphases, assumptions and decisions. In all the countries reviewed the state of research on men is uneven and far from well developed. In most countries research on men is still relatively new and in the process of uneven development. The extent of national research resources seems to be a factor affecting the extent of research on men. In some countries there is now some form of relatively established tradition of research on men, albeit of different orientations. In most countries, though there may not be a very large body of focused research on men, a sizeable amount of analysis of men is possible.

Interconnections between the four focus areas surveyed (home and work; social exclusion; violences; and health)

The academic research has pointed clearly to strong interconnections between the four focus areas - especially between unemployment, social exclusion and ill health. Patterns of men’s violence interconnect with these issues to some extent but also cut across these social divisions.

Similarities and differences.
There are both clear similarities between the ten nations and clear differences, in terms of the extent of egalitarianism, in relation to gender and more generally; the form of rapid economic growth or downturn; the experience of post-socialist transformation; the development of a strong women’s movement and gender politics. There are also differences between men in the same country; for example, former West German men tend to be more traditional than former East German men, and also within one man or groups of men.

Men in power.
There is a particular neglect of attention to men in powerful positions and to analyses of men’s broad relations to power, both in themselves and as contexts to the four themes.

Reported by

University of Sunderland
Priestman Building, Green Terrace
SR1 3PZ Sunderland
United Kingdom
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