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EU FP5 Thematic Network.

    The European Research Network on Men in Europe: The Social Problem and Societal Problematisation of Men and Masculinities





    Jeff Hearn, Ursula Müller, Elzbieta Oleksy, Keith Pringle, Janna Chernova, Harry Ferguson, Øystein Gullvåg Holter, Voldemar Kolga, Irina Novikova, Carmine Ventimiglia, Emmi Lattu, Teemu Tallberg, Eivind Olsvik, with the assistance of Diane McIlroy and

    Hertta Niemi

EU FP5 Thematic Network: The Social Problem and Societal

    Problematisation of Men and Masculinities


    EU, European and Transnational Options and Priorities


Introduction 2

Men’s Gendered Practices 2

    The Research Context and Changing 3 Forms of Masculinities

    Transnational Perspectives 6

The European Context 7

    The Changing Policy Context and the 15 Changing Forms of Masculinities

Men’s Relations to Home and Work 17

    The Social Exclusion of Men 18

Men’s Violences 19

Men’s Health 20

Interrelations between Policy Areas 20

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    This supranational policy option paper arises from the work of The European Research Network on Men in Europe project, “The Social Problem and Societal Problematisation of Men and Masculinities” (2000–2003), funded by the European

    Commission within Framework 5. The Network comprises women and men researchers with range of disciplinary backgrounds from ten countries.

    This supranational policy paper complements the ten individual national policy option papers (Estonia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Poland, the Russian Federation, the UK) (Deliverable 12). Network associates exist in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark and Sweden. It addresses the following main questions: the EU, European and Transnational Policy Contexts; transnational developments between and across countries; transnational organisations. and the Four Policy Areas Home and Work, Social Exclusion, Violences, Health - and their Interrelations.

These are examined in the following sections:

    II. 1. Men‟s Gendered Practices;

    II. 2. The Research Context and Changing Forms of Masculinities;

    II. 3. Transnational Perspectives;

    II. 4. The European Context.

    II. 5. The Changing Policy Context and the Changing Forms of Masculinities; II. 6. Men‟s Relations to Home and Work;

    II. 7. The Social Exclusion of Men;

    II. 8. Men‟s Violences;

    II. 9. Men‟s Health;

    II. 10. Interrelations between Policy Areas.


    For many centuries, men, masculinity and men‟s powers and practices were generally taken-for-granted. Gender was largely seen as a matter of and for women. Men were usually seen as ungendered, „natural‟ or naturalised. This is now changing; it is much less the case than even ten years ago (Metz-Göckel and Müller, 1986; Brod, 1987; Kaufman, 1987; Kimmel, 1987; Hearn, 1987, 1992; Connell, 1987, 1995, Segal, 1990; Holter, 1997).

    At the same time, there has been a considerable recent development of research on gender relations and welfare issues in Europe (Aslanbeigu et al.; 1994; Leira, 1994; Sainsbury; 1994, 1996; Walby, 1997; Duncan, 1995; Duncan and Pfau-Effinger, 2001). Critical studies of men‟s practices have received some recent attention within transnational surveys of gender relations (for example, Dominelli, 1991, Rai et al., 1992; Pease and Pringle, 2002; Hobson, 2002; Hearn et al., 2002a, 2002b, 2002c, 2003; Kimmel et al., 2003; Novikova and Kambourov, 2003).

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    Throughout much of Europe contemporary gender relations can be characterised by relatively rapid change in some respects, for example, rates of separation and divorce, new employment patterns, alongside the persistence of long-term historical structures and practices, such as men's domination of top management, men‟s propensity to use violence and commit crime. This can thus be understood as a combination of contradictory social processes of change and no change (Hearn, 1999).

    A very important feature and effect of such changing gender relations has been the gradually growing realisation that men are just as gendered as are women. It is now clear that „gender‟ and „gender relations‟ are about both women and men. This explicit gendering of men necessarily involves both changing academic, policy and political analyses of men in society, and contemporary changes in men‟s lives, sometimes developing counter to earlier expectations and experiences of recent generations of men.

    Making men more gendered, in theory, in policy, and in practice, has meant that previously taken-for-granted powers and authority of men, social actions of men, and ways of being men, can now be considered as much more problematic. They may not yet be much more negotiable, but they are now recognised as more open to debate. A number of social changes now seem to be in place whereby men and masculinities can at least be talked about as problematic.

It is now at least possible to ask such questions as:

    ; What is a man?

    ; How do men maintain power?

    ; Is there a crisis of masculinity?

    ; Or is there a crisis of men in a more fundamental way?

    ; Do we know what the future of men looks like or should be?

    ; What policy and practice implications follow both in relation to men and boys, and

    for men and boys?

    ; What specific policies and policy options are to be developed in relation to men and


    Paradoxically, men and masculinities are now more talked about than before at a time when it is much less clear what and how they are, are to become, should be or should become.



    The overall research context for examining these policy questions is provided by previous scholarship on two areas of study:

    ; critical studies on men and masculinities

    ; studies of comparative welfare systems and welfare responses to associated social

    problems and inequalities.

    There are also close links with policy outcomes in relation to changing family structures; work configurations within the labour market and the home; and other changes in the wider European society. The research context for studying men and the changing forms of men and masculinities are very closely interconnected.

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    Although there are many ways in which men and masculinities vary between and across countries, in many European countries, until relatively recently, established forms of masculinity and men‟s practices could be distinguished on two major dimensions by

    locality (for example, urban, rural), by social class (for example, bourgeois, working class). In these and many other different ways men have both created huge problems, most obviously in violence, and been constructive and creative actors, as, for example, in the building of industries, albeit within patriarchies.

    The exact ways these forms of masculinity have been practiced clearly vary between societies and cultures. In addition, many other cross-cutting dimensions have been and remain important, such as variations by age, ethnicity, sexuality, nationality and nationalism. In recent years, there have been major changes in dominant forms of masculinity. For example, urban bourgeois, rural bourgeois, urban working class, and rural working class forms of masculinity and men‟s practices have all been subject to major social transformation, as have various state, party and class-based forms of masculinity particulalrly the kind associated with the former Communist regimes. These changes have been most clear in those countries where there has been a relatively rapid transition to urbanised, industrialised society, such as Finland and Ireland. They are also visible in the transitional post-Communist nations of Central and Eastern Europe.

    The taken-for-granted nature of men and masculinities is now changing. Recent years have seen the naming of men as men. Men have become the subject of growing debates

    in the areas of academia, policy and media. In some respects this is not totally new; there

    have been previous periods of debate on men (Kimmel 1987, 1995), and then, in a different sense, much of politics, research and policy has always been about men, often dominantly so. What is new, however, is that these debates, particularly academic and policy debates, are now more explicit, more gendered, more varied and sometimes more critical.

    Among the several influences that have brought this focus on men and masculinities, first and foremost is the impact on men of Second, and now Third, Wave Feminisms. Questions have been asked by feminists and feminisms on all aspects of men and men‟s actions, in politics, policy, and practice. Different feminist initiatives have focused on different aspects of men, and have suggested different analyses of men and differing ways forward for men. Feminism has also demonstrated various theoretical and practical lessons for men. One is that the understanding of gender relations, relations between women and men has to involve attention to questions of power. There has also been a wide range of men‟s responses to gender (in)equality and feminism some positive, some antagonistic, some unengaged and apparently disinterested.

    Something similar has happened and very unevenly continues to happen particularly in academia. In some senses there are as many ways of studying men and masculinities as there are varying approaches to the social sciences, ranging from examinations of „masculine psychology‟ to broad societal, structural and collective analyses of men. An important development has however been the shift from the analysis of masculinity in the singular to masculinities in the plural. Studies have thus interrogated the operation of different masculinities hegemonic, complicit,

    subordinated, marginalised, resistant (Carrigan et al., 1985; Connell, 1987, 1995)

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    and the interrelations of unities and differences between men and between masculinities (Hearn and Collinson, 1993). There is also a growing lively debate on the limitations of the very idea of „masculinities‟, including around the confusions of different current usages of the term. For this reason some scholars prefer to talk rather more precisely of men‟s individual and collective practices – or men‟s identities or

    discourses on or of men rather than the generalised gloss term, „masculinities‟

    (Donaldson 1993, McMahon 1993; Hearn 1996; Macinnes 1998; Whitehead 1999; Clatterbaugh 2000).

    Not only are men now increasingly recognised as gendered, but they, or rather some men, are increasingly recognised as a gendered social problem to which welfare systems may, or for a variety of reasons may not, respond (Pringle, 1995). This can apply in terms of violence (Hearn, 1998), crime, drug and alcohol abuse, buying of sex, accidents, driving, and so on, and indeed in terms of denial of such problems as sexual violence (for example, Ventimiglia, 1987). These are all activities that are social in nature, and can have both immediate and long-term negative effects on others, friends, family, strangers, victims and survivors. The association of the gendered problematisation of men and masculinities, and the gendered social problem of men and masculinities is complex (for example, Holter and Aarseth, 1993; Månsson, 1994; Ekenstam, 1998; Popay et al., 1998), as, indeed, are the differential responses of welfare systems (Pringle, 1998a; Pringle and Harder, 1999). But at the very least one would want to acknowledge the various ways in which the more general gendering and gendered problematisations of men and masculinities both facilitate and derive from more particular recognition of certain men and masculinities as social problems. Such recognitions apply through the use of measurable information, such as, official statistics, as well as less exact discursive constructions in politics, policy, law, media and opinion-formation.

    These processes of problematisation of men and construction of men as gendered social problems apply in academic and political analysis, and in men‟s own lives and experiences; they also exist more generally at the societal level, and very importantly in quite different ways in different societies. Thus while it may be expected that some kind of problematisation of men and masculinities may now be observable in many, perhaps most, European societies, the form that it takes is likely to be very different indeed from society to society. The form such problematisations take thus varies in different countries:

    ; it may appear in public concern around young men, crime, relatively low educational

    attainments in schools;

    ; it may take the form of anxieties around the family, fatherhood, and relations with

    children; elsewhere, the specific links between boyhood, fathering and men may be


    ; or increased concerns about men‟s ill-health, alcohol use, depression, loneliness, and

    low life expectancy;

    ; or the problem of reconciling home and work, with the pressure towards long

    working hours;

    ; or men‟s violence to and control of women and children;

    ; or men‟s participation in and continued domination of many political and economic


    ; or changing forms of men‟s sexuality and personal relations.

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    These questions have been the subject of growing research investigation in specific European nations and research collaboration during recent years. These and other forms of gendered problematisation of men and masculinities and constructions of men and masculinities as gendered social problems have been examined in a range of European national welfare contexts by the Research Network. There is a great national and societal variation in how men and masculinities interact with issues, not merely those of culture but also other major social divisions and inequalities, in particular, class, “race” xenophobia and racism, ethnicity, nationalism and religion. The intersections of “race”,

    ethnicity, nationalism and nationality appear to be especially and increasingly important for the construction of both dominant and subordinated forms of men and masculinities. Examining this entails investigation of the complex interrelations between these varying genderings and problematisations and the socio-economic, political, state structures and processes within and between countries. Fuller understanding of these issues is likely to assist the formulation of social policy responses to them in both existing and potential member states, and within the EU.

    Recently, attempts have been made to push forward the boundaries in the comparative field using feminist and pro-feminist perspectives to consider men‟s

    practices throughout the world . These attempts seek to locate such considerations within recent debates about globalisation and men‟s practices, throwing some doubt in the process on the more ambitious and other gender-neutral claims of globalisation theses. Despite such recent developments, there remains a massive deficit in critical transnational studies of men‟s practices and related policy-making on men, and in the

    sources available for such studies.


    In recent years transnational perspectives, such as those underpinning this Research Network, have been applied to a vast range of studies within the social sciences. There are many reasons for this tendency. One of the most convincing reasons for adopting a comparative approach is the potential offered for interrogating the assumptions that underpin social practices and policies in different countries. Such a process of learning from other countries facilitates reconstruction of more effective policies and practices. Such practices and policies increasingly interact transnationally, at European and global levels: consequently research may seek to explore the processes and outcomes of those interactions and connections.

    In many cases where specific social issues have been studied transnationally, attempts have been made to apply various general theoretical categorisations to specific issues. In terms of differential welfare regimes, the most common model applied in this way is that devised by Esping-Andersen (1990, 1996, 1999). There has also been extensive critique of such models in terms of insufficient attention to gender relations (Lewis and Ostner, 1991; Leira, 1992; Lewis, 1992; Orloff, 1993; O‟Connor, 1993; Sainsbury, 1994, 1996, 1999; Tyyskä, 1995; Siim, 2000). There is also a wide range of further broad feminist and gender-sensitive work that examines global and transnational change through a gendered lens (for example, Anthias and Yuval-Davis, 1992; Mies, 1998; Peterson and Runyan, 1999), which also have direct and indirect implications for the re-analysis of men and masculinities in the context of transnational and global relations.

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    Commentators have also taken various positions regarding the analytic value of applications from broad general frameworks to the particular national and local context (Alber, 1995; Anttonen and Sipilä, 1996; Daly 2000; Harder and Pringle, 1997; Pringle, 1998a; Pringle and Harder, 1999), partly depending upon the issue being studied. There is a need for considerable open-mindedness in the assumptions that are brought to bear in such analyses. For example, Trifiletti (1999), through a feminist perspective on the relations between gender and welfare system dynamics, has provided detailed arguments that Southern European welfare regimes may not in fact (contrary to some of the above opinion) be more sexist than those in Northern and Western Europe.

    The critical study of men‟s practices has, until very recently, largely escaped specific comparative scrutiny (Pease and Pringle, 2001), although it has received important attention within broader and relatively established transnational feminist surveys of gender relations (for instance, Dominelli 1991; Rai et al. 1992). Yet, the limited amount of work devoted specifically to men's practices transnationally suggests there continues to be major scope for extending critical analysis in that particular area.

    Looking globally at the field of social welfare, there are complex patterns of convergence and divergence between men‟s practices internationally needing further interrogation (Pringle, 1998b). Connell‟s initial enquiries regarding the global transactions which occur in processes of masculinity formation have opened up a whole range of possibilities for exploration and contestation (Connell, 1991, 1995, 1998; Hearn, 1996a); these possibilities are just beginning to be explored in any depth (Pease and Pringle, 2001). In particular, these studies have begun to conceptualise broad transnational categories of men and masculinities. For example, recent attempts have been made to push forward the boundaries in the comparative field by using pro-feminist perspectives to consider men‟s practices in Asia, Southern Africa, the Americas (South, Central and North), Australasia and Europe (Pease and Pringle, 2001). These developing global perspectives have closely informed the work of the Network with its focus on Europe - “West”, “Central” and “East”.

    More specifically, transnational perspectives highlight a number of key policy issues, for example, around:

    ; transnational business men who move across countries, with less national loyalty

    and identification;

    ; transnational politics and policy-making;

    ; migration and asylum seeking, especially of young men, and their implications for

    women and men, in countries of both emigration and immigration;

    ; trafficking in women, children and men;

    ; the intersection of various ‟new‟ and ‟old‟ masculinities, in relation to

    nationalisms, racisms and xenophobias.


    In assessing the nature of the European context, it is important to recognise the contradictions between, on the one hand, contemporary trends towards globalisation, regionalisation and transnationalism and, on the other, the persistence of the nation-state. Having said that, there are both similarities and differences in the substantive patterns of national laws and policies. The social and cultural contexts in which the 26.11.10 8

    national reports on law and policy are written are very varied indeed. The national and local contexts need thus to be understood in order to make sense of the different orientations of the national reports. The general state of law and policy in the ten nations is the product of several factors. These include their diverse broad historical and cultural traditions; their legal and governmental institutions; their more recent and specific relations to the European Union (EU); and their welfare and social policy frameworks and practices.

    The EU is an economic, social and political union, initially it consisted of six countries in 1957. It has sought to increase the harmonisation of economic and social policies across member states, whilst respecting the principle of subsidiarity (decisions being made at the lowest appropriate level). It is premised on the „single market‟ amongst member states and parliamentary democracy, albeit of different

    forms in the member states. Over the years this inevitably has involved tensions between the push to economic and social convergence and the defense of national political interests. As the Union has expanded these tensions have become more complex, though it is probably fair to say that the „strong agenda‟ towards greater unity has become more dominant in recent years.

    The EU currently comprises fifteen countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the UK. Thirteen further countries are Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey. Accession negotiations are under way for the first twelve of these, with the objective of completing the accession, so they can take part in European Parliament elections by 2004. In addition, twelve of the fifteen EU member states (all except Denmark, Sweden, the UK) now have the same currency (the Euro), and are part of the European Monetary Union (EMU). Thus the ten countries in our review have differing relations to the EU:

    ; EU member/member of the EMU: Finland (date of joining the EU: 1995),

    Germany (1957), Ireland (1973), Italy (1957);

    ; EU/non-member of the EMU: the UK (1973);

    ; not EU member (though associated in some specific respects): Norway; ; EU applicant countries: Estonia, Latvia, Poland;

    ; former Soviet non-EU applicant: Russian Federation.

     non-former Soviet former Soviet

    Finland, Germany, Ireland, EU/EMU


    UK EU/non-EMU

     Estonia, Latvia, Poland EU applicant

    Norway Russian Federation non-EU applicant

    The EU itself is part of the historical legacy that has been based on the attempt to develop broad social democracy and stop fascism from happening in Europe again. Furthermore, it is relevant to look at the EU, the European Commission and the associated organisations as gendered institutions. This includes the question of the lack of attention to men in power, including men in the institutions of the EU itself. The EU and the EU application process are themselves becoming important parts of 26.11.10 9

    the public politics of comparative European welfare development, including the comparative development of gender policies, and policies in relation to men. This is especially significant in regards the EU‟s eastward expansion, including the specific conditions for application and accession.

    There is a growing recognition of the impact, albeit differential, of the EU itself on the heterogeneous gender politics and gender regimes of the member states (Liebert, 1999). This is partly through the operation of various equal opportunities policies at the supranational and national levels, most obviously in the fields of family, welfare, labor market and education policies, but also more generally in migration and environmental policies (Walby, 1999). In most cases these debates on and indeed in the EU have focused on (increasing) women‟s participation in the public spheres of employment and education, along with the development of women‟s rights in social protection and welfare.

    Throughout their development there have been strong legal and policy emphases on equality and gender equality within the EEC and the EU. Key measures here include: ; Article 119 (EC) of the 1957 Treaty of Rome on the principle of „equal pay for

    equal work‟,

    ; the 1975 Equal Pay Directive (75/117/EEC),

    ; the 1976 Equal Treatment Directive on Employment, Vocational Training and

    Promotion, and the Working Conditions (76/207/EEC), and

    ; the subsequent related directives, especially the Social Security Directive


    ; Article 13 (EC) of the 1997 Treaty of Amsterdam on general anti-discrimination

    in employment,

    ; the Community Framework Strategy on Gender Equality (COM (2000) 335 final

    of 7.6.2000) and the related Programme (Decision 2001/51/EC),

    ; the Employment Framework Directive 2000 (Council Directive 2000/78/EC).

    According to Articles 17 and 18 of the Employment Framework Directive 2000, all EU member states are required to implement national legislation prohibiting discrimination in employment on the grounds of sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, age, disability or sexual orientation by 2 December 2003. Similarly, Paragraphs (1)(c) and (1)(d) of Article 3 address „pay‟ (including travel allowances

    and occupational pension schemes) and „benefits‟, respectively. Article 12 prohibits discrimination on the grounds of nationality.

    In addition, there are numerous other Declarations and Recommendations around equal opportunities, which have had the effect of shaping policy norms and creating a policy climate towards this direction (Bulmer 1998).

    Overall policy development in the EU is to some extent framed by the development of the European Social Agenda (2000-2005) (Communication ..., 2000) This seeks to

    advance a range of “future orientations for social policy”, of which the most relevant to the topic of men‟s practices are the following:

    ; “Fighting poverty and all forms of exclusion and discrimination in order to

    promote social integration”;

    ; “Promoting gender equality”; and

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