Anxious States

In “Men and Development: Politicizing Masculinities”, Andrea Cornwall, Jerker Edström and Alan Greig (eds), Zed Books: London and New York (2011)

The gender order is changing. Structural changes in the global economy as a result of neo-liberalism have ‘undercut once and for all state-organized capitalism’s ideal of the family wage’ (Fraser, 2009: 8), with profound implications for understandings and practices of gender. As Connell (2005: 11) observes: ‘In third-world cities there has been a de-institutionalization of economic life that has left very large numbers of young men in precarious conditions’. For men who, in Willis’ (1999) words, have ‘tended to conflate… achievement in the world of paid work with proving their manhood’, the consequences have been severe.

This changing political economy of gender is affecting gender relations inside and outside of the home, as women participate more actively in the waged economy, public life and the political process. The implications of such changes are being felt both at the level of men’s lived experience of gender and of its ideological expression in public discourse on masculinity.

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Post by Alan Greig

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