Jeff Hearn (Örebro University, Sweden; University of Huddersfield, UK; and Hanken School of Economics, Finland)
Jeff Hearn studied at the Universities of Oxford, Oxford Brookes and Leeds, before his PhD at the University of Bradford. He is a UK Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences; Guest Research Professor in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden, based in Gender Studies; Research Professor of Sociology, University of Huddersfield, UK; and Professor, Hanken School of Economics, Finland. His research focuses on gender, sexuality, violence, organisations and transnational processes. His many books include Men as Managers, Managers as Men (1996), Information Society & the Workplace (2004), European Perspectives on Men and Masculinities (2006), Managers Talk about Gender (2009), The Limits of Gendered Citizenship (2011), Men and Masculinities around the World (2011), Rethinking Transnational Men (2013), and Men of the World Globalizations, Transnational Times (2015). He is co-managing editor of Routledge Advances in Feminist Studies and Intersectionality book series.
Moving Men, Changing Men, Othering Men: Reflections on and beyond Politics, Representation and Care
In recent years there has been a large, perhaps surprising, growth of critical studies on men and masculinities, across the humanities and social sciences, and to a more limited extent in the natural sciences and technology, along with a variety of political and policy interventions on men and masculinities. In this session I examine some of the ways in which a critical gendered focus on men and masculinities can both re-centre men and de-centre men, paying particular attention to the themes of politics, representation and care. A key challenge is how to name men and masculinities, and at the same time deconstruct men and masculinities, to avoid potential re-centrings of power. Moreover, such studies and political and policy interventions have often tended to focus on certain more immediate, personal and interpersonal aspects of social life (even if paradoxically bodies are sometimes not foregounded): family, health, interpersonal violence, friendship, emotions, sexualities. These concerns could be seen as in part as a reversal of the now well-drawn tendency to explain men’s behaviour with reference to job, occupation and organisational positions. Thus, a “fresh start” might involve these supposedly more private aspects, and even a turn to a form of welfarism in understanding men and masculinities. Meanwhile, certain other areas and arenas are much less developed. These include: ageing and ageing bodies; transnational institutions and processes, such as international finance, energy, transport, security and surveillance, MNCs; ICTs and virtuality; and academic practices. These present great challenges and opportunities – for deconstructing the dominant, and what still seems to be the somewhat embarrassing topic of men. Finally, and in these contexts and with these contradictions I consider the possibilities and pitfalls of the abolition of “men” as social category of power.