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Masculinities under Neoliberalism

Masculinities under Neoliberalism

Andrea Cornwall | Frank G. Karioris | Nancy Lindisfarne



Neoliberalism has had a radical impact on the lived, gendered experiences of people around the world. But while the gendered dimensions of neoliberalism have already received significant scholarly attention, the existing literature has given little consideration to men’s identities and experiences. Building on the work of Cornwall and Lindisfarne’s landmark text Dislocating Masculinity, this collection provides a fresh perspective on gender dynamics under neoliberalism.
Bringing together a series of short, readable case studies drawn from new ethnographic fieldwork, its subjects range from the experiences of working-class men in Putin’s Russia to colonial masculinities in Southern Rhodesia, and from young British Muslim men to amateur footballers in Jamaica.
'Readers from a wide range of disciplines will appreciate the far-reaching scope of the volume ... It is a welcome addition to any social science syllabus dealing with gender, capitalism, and the intersection of the two.'Gender, Place and Culture
‘A thought-provoking, cohesive, and engrossing collection of anthropological research that will be of interest to all masculinity scholars.’Men and Masculinities
'This book is both a valuable and timely contribution to studies of men and masculinities ... can easily find a place in courses for upper-level undergraduate students or in graduate courses on masculinities, gender, or globalization.'Culture, Society and Masculinities
'Impressive and path-setting ... The contributors have taken a giant step beyond inappropriate generalizing and abstracting in masculinist studies.'Journal of Men's Studies
Masculinities under Neoliberalism stands out because of its rich case studies and its timely focus on how masculinities are subject to change in a neoliberal system.'Allegra Laboratory
'A timely volume with an important introduction by the editors which will set the terms of the debate on issues of men and masculinity for some time to come. The arguments should be accessible to advanced undergraduates as well as graduate students, and the book will be useful in anthropology and gender courses alike.'Sherry B. Ortner, University of Michigan
‘An important and fascinating contribution to global perspectives on what it means to be a man in a time of rising inequality and economic uncertainty.’Nikki van der Gaag, author of Feminism and Men‘Drawing on innovative studies from around the world, Masculinities under Neoliberalism provides exciting new insights into the study of masculinities and gender relations in an increasingly unequal neoliberal world. A must read for scholars, policy-makers and concerned citizens.’Jane Parpart, co-editor of Rethinking the Man Question
‘With its vivid pictures of masculinities under stress in different regions and cultures, Masculinities Under Neoliberalism is a very rich resource for understanding contemporary men’s and women’s lives.’ Raewyn Connell, University of Sydney (Emerita)
‘A powerful mix combining contributions from major figures and emerging stars in masculinities studies. The sparkling analysis throughout should attract new interest and inspire new work in the field.’ Matthew Gutmann, Brown University
‘In this book we have a rare and rich tapestry of individual and groups of men operating against the vast backdrop of neoliberalism. This is a fine book with a surprisingly hopeful message.’ Robert Morell, University of Cape Town
‘If, as Schumpeter argued, the essential fact about capitalism is its 'creative destruction,' one of the relationships it disrupts are ideologies of gender. In this essential volume, the authors show how globalization brings dislocation, upheaval, and migrations to older ideas about masculinity, leading to other forms of destabilization.’Michael Kimmel, executive director, Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities
‘A wonderful and politically timely collection with a global reach Masculinities under Neoliberalism brings together insightful ethnographic studies that explore changing power and anxieties of men's lives in different cultural contexts. Interdisciplinary and grounded in comparative approaches it explores what is happening to men and masculinities in tense times of global economic crisis and rising inequalities.’Victor Seidler, Goldsmiths, University of London
'Masculinities under Neoliberalism is not just an important, comprehensible and extremely timely endeavour to grasp the immeasurable impacts of neoliberal reforms … [the book] is itself a historical document, a product of its own time, written in the incongruous prose of urgency and futility that captures the spirit of today … a profound dissection into different life-worlds.'Journal of Extreme Anthropology
'Provides a rich mosaic of masculinities during a period of economic precarity and social fragmentation, and thus offers not only fresh ways of envisioning the various structures of people’s lives, but also contributes to the ongoing topical discussion on masculinities.'Social Anthropology

Andrea Cornwall is professor of anthropology and international development in the School of Global Studies at Sussex University. She has published widely in the fields of gender and development studies, and is the editor of Dislocating Masculinity: Comparative Ethnographies (with Nancy Lindisfarne, 1994) and Men and Development: Politicising Masculinities (with Jerker Edström and Alan Greig, Zed Books, 2011).

Frank G. Karioris is a doctoral candidate in comparative gender studies, with a specialization in sociology and social anthropology from Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. His dissertation focuses on men’s homosocial relations in an all-male university residence hall in the US. He has published in the Institute of Development Studies’ IDS Bulletin, as well as co-editing the book Reimagining Masculinities (2015).

Nancy Lindisfarne taught social anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London for many years. She has done anthropological fieldwork in Iran, Afghanistan, in a Turkish town, and among the urban bourgeoisie in Syria. Her publications include Dislocating Masculinity: Comparative Ethnographies (co-edited with Andrea Cornwall, 1994), Bartered Brides: Politics, Gender and Marriage in an Afghan Tribal Society (1991), Languages of Dress in the Middle East (with Bruce Ingham, 1997), Thank God, We’re Secular: Gender, Islam and Turkish Republicanism (2001) and a book of short stories, Dancing in Damascus (2000), which also appeared in Arabic and Turkish.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Cover Cover
Half title i
About the editors ii
Title page iii
Copyright iv
Contents v
About the contributors viii
Preface xiii
1. Introduction: Masculinities Under Neoliberalism 1
Dislocating Masculinity revisited 2
Masculinity under neoliberalism 7
Everyday life in neoliberal times 12
Normative disappointments 16
(Dis)locations and discontents 17
Gender and generation 18
Producing subjectivities 20
Homosocialities 22
Conclusion 24
Acknowledgements 25
Note 25
References 25
2. Masculinities and the Lived Experience of Neoliberalism 29
Introduction 29
Sexism, class and violence 30
Neoliberalism as an economic and political system 32
Making sense of masculinities under neoliberalism 36
Ideologies of gender inequality 40
How masculinities have changed under neoliberalism 42
Masculinities, migration and social distance 47
Notes 48
References 49
3. In Search of ‘Stability’: Working-Class Men, Masculinity and Wellbeing in Contemporary Russia 51
Introduction: reinscribing working-class masculinities 51
Russian workers: from heroes to zeroes 52
Learning to labour in post-Soviet Russia 54
Working-class men in young adulthood: in search of stability 57
Conclusion 62
Notes 63
References 63
4. ‘Filial Son’, Dislocated Masculinity and the Making of Male Migrant Workers in Urban China 66
Modernity, marginalization and rural–urbanmigrant men in China 66
Migration and marginalization 67
Migrant men, filial sons and changing families 69
Conclusion 76
Notes 77
References 78
5. Taking the Long View: Attaining and Sustaining Masculinity Across the Life Course in South India 80
Introduction 80
India, adult masculinity and the right to provide 83
Achieving and sustaining masculinity 86
Contesting and claiming masculinity: female providers and male dependants 90
Conclusion 94
Notes 96
References 97
6. Desperate Markets and Desperate Masculinities in Morocco 99
Introduction 99
Globalization 100
Desperate market 101
Desperate masculinities 103
Shame 105
Conclusion 107
Notes 108
References 109
7. Neutralized Bachelors, Infantilized Arabs: Between Migrant and Host – Gendered and Sexual Stereotypes in Abu Dhabi 111
Introduction 111
Of men and masculinity 114
Locating gender regimes 121
Acknowledgements 122
Notes 123
References 123
8. Windsurfers, Capoeiristas and Musicians: Brazilian Masculinities in Transnational Scenarios 125
Incorporating ‘Brazilianness’ in transnational scenarios 125
Styles of masculinity in Brazil 127
Diversity and exoticization 129
Reconfigurations 131
Conclusion 133
Notes 133
References 134
9. ‘I Must Stand Like A Man’: Masculinity in Crisis in Post-War Sierra Leone 136
Introduction 136
The ‘crisis of youth’: constructing problematic masculinities 137
Being male in the post-war city I: consumption and masculinity 141
Being male in the post-war city II: performing marginal manhood 144
Conclusion 148
References 148
10. Fatherhood and Intergenerational Struggles in the Construction of Masculinities in Huambo, Angola 151
Introduction 151
Visions of progress 154
Delinquency 156
Making men from boys 158
Conclusion 161
Notes 163
References 163
11. Masculinity, Marriage and the Bible: New Pentecostalist Masculinities in Zimbabwe 165
Historical background 166
Pentecostalism and ‘soft masculinity’ 168
The new Pentecostalism and new ‘hard’ masculinities 170
Wives, children, and ‘spiritual bling’ 173
Sexual violence and the return of the warrior evangelist 177
Conclusion 179
Notes 180
References 180
12. From Big Man to Whole Man: Making Moral Masculinities at the YMCA 183
Introduction 183
The Whole Man and the masculinization of development 184
Rituals of manhood: muscular masculinity on the Sports Leaders course 185
The shifting sands of manhood: sport and situational masculinities in the Gambia 190
Conclusions: making men ‘whole’ 193
Acknowledgements 195
References 195
13. (Dis)Locating Masculinities: Ethnographic Reflections of British Muslim Young Men 198
Introduction 198
Ethnographic representational space, generational censorship, and collective self-reflexivity 200
(Dis)locating masculinities: the spectre of the young Muslim man 203
Living different (social and spatial) realities 206
Conclusion 209
References 210
14. Football Field, Bar, and Street Corner: Sports, Space, and Masculinities in Rural Jamaica 213
Introduction 213
On the field 215
Sensible football: the older players 216
‘Bragging rights’: the ‘rebel’ side 218
Socializing and sociality off the pitch 219
Inscribing difference 222
Conclusion 223
Notes 225
References 225
15. Ducks, Dogs, and Men: ‘Natural’ Masculinities in New Zealand Duck Hunting 227
Introduction 227
Performing masculinities in rural spaces 228
Of ducks and men 232
Of dogs and men 236
Conclusion 239
Notes 241
References 241
16. (Dis)Locations of Homosociality: Men in an All-Male University Residence Hall 244
Introduction 244
Regan Hall, the university, and the step 246
The Step Kids 249
Conflict with Herald Hall 253
Conclusion 257
Note 259
References 259
17. Homosociality and Heterosex: Patterns of Intimacy and Relationality Among Men in the London ‘Seduction Community’ 261
Introduction 261
Homosociality and heterosex 262
Remediating masculinity through homosociality 266
Neoliberal intimacies 272
Notes 274
References 275
Index 277