Eco-Masculinity and the Aftermath of Catastrophic Events: Masculinity and the Role of Livelihood Security

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 15:15
Location: Hörsaal 16 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
DeMond MILLER, Rowan University, USA
In the social scientific literature, few attempts have been made to understand the relationship between man (the masculine) and nature. There are few social scientific studies that explore how men perceive their relationship to the physical environment and how the environment can help shape and define masculinity.  The studies that do exist explicitly detail the nature of men who self-define their masculinity by the type of outdoor activities, behaviors, and work they perform. This paper argues a need to understand the relationships between men and the physical environment in the aftermath of disasters. A new, more nuanced understanding is proposed of traditional masculine gender roles, which has historically viewed men as exploiter and extractor.  The objective of this chapter is to examine the unique contribution that masculinity has in understanding how men relate to and understand their physical environment in the aftermath of disaster and how masculinity contributes to an understanding of how men live “as one” visàvis their environment as not only extractor, for his livelihood, but also as its protector and defender. Using recent disasters along the Gulf Coast of the United States as case studies to draw conclusions regarding the dual nuanced nature of man to his environment,  this chapter contributes to the disaster literature by asserting the argument for the inclusion of an eco-masculine perspective in disaster studies by briefly presenting an overview of some of the issues and concludes with exploring how ecomasculinity is well-suited to address diminishing vulnerabilities to catastrophic events among men and vulnerabilities within social organizations.