Care, Care Work and the Struggle for a Careful World from the Perspective of the Sociology of Masculinities

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 10:00
Location: Hörsaal 33 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Sylka SCHOLZ, Friedrich-Schiller-Universitat Jena, Germany
Sophie RUBY, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Germany
Feminist research often links the issues of care and care work to women, both theoretically and empirically. This focus results from and reflects the dedication of reproductive work to women in modern West- and Eastern Europe, which is constitutive for these societies. The change of structure of labour from Fordism to Post-Fordism and the partially linked pluralization of family types has led to a transformation of the gender arrangements. The previous division of work between men and women cannot be considered a matter of course anymore. For men, one result of these changes is a ‘reproductive problem’, referring to the regeneration of the work-force on the one hand and reproduction in terms of fertility behavior on the other – hence to the familial patriarchal power. (In the Media this change is often scandalized as a ’crisis of men’.)

In our input we discuss the aspect, that in contrast to feminist theories, masculinities theories barely theorizes care and care work. Fatherhood for instance is neither included in Connells concept of hegemonic masculinity nor in Bourdieu’s male domination. We would like to investigate in which way men and the construction of masculinities are affected by ongoing restructuring processes. Therefore, we focus on Eastern and Western Europe. For example, how remaining men and children handle the results of female care chains. We will put a sociologically founded concept of masculine generativity as a basis for discussion, which we developed referring to Erikson and King. We will discuss to which extent this can be a useful theoretical concept for the research of these and similar phenomenon. We question if, and what kinds of non-hegemonic forms of masculinity exist and whether they integrate aspects of care and care work. Furthermore, who can foster processes to enhance the engagement of male actors towards a careful world?