Making Sense of Masculinity and War

Hutchings, Kimberly (2008). Men and Masculinities 10(4): 389-404.

This article examines modes of theorizing about war in two contemporary literatures: on war and gender and on the changing nature of war. Both these literatures make a connection between masculinity and war. The article argues that, on examination, the link between masculinity and war does not depend on the substantive meanings of either masculinity or war, or on a causal or constitutive relation between the two; rather, masculinity is linked to war because the formal, relational properties of masculinity provide a framework through which war can be rendered both intelligible and acceptable as a social practice and institution.

You’re Either In or You’re Out: School Violence, Peer Discipline, and the (Re)Production of Hegemonic Masculinity.

Stoudt, Brett G. (2006). Men and Masculinities 8(3): 273-287.

School violence has not been studied widely across schools and communities. This article examines hegemonic masculinity and its relationship to violence through the peer disciplining (hazing, teasing, bullying) that occurs among students who attend an elite suburban boys’ school. Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods, the analysis suggests that violence is embedded in the social fabric of the school and implicated in power relations between both peers and their institution. Emotionally ambiguous, you’re either in or you’re out distinctions made by peer disciplining can produce shame, fear, and hurt alongside friendship, intimacy, and bonding. The normalcy with which hegemonic values are practiced makes it difficult, though not impossible, to contest. If we are to find viable alternatives to dominant masculinities, which are restrictive for most, it will be important to ask which boys and under what conditions are they able to resist its mandates.

Gender and International Politics: The Intersections of Patriarchy and Militarisation.

Chenoy, Anuradha M. (2004) India Journal of Gender Studies 11(1): 27-42.

The politics of globalisation and militarisation are lending a muscular discourse to international politics, which provide continuity to the principle of patriarchy and privilege, especially during times of threat and conflict. This kind of politics has a structural impact on society because it endorses traditional gender roles and places people in binary categories like ‘with us’ or ‘against us’, ‘civilised’ and ‘uncivilised’, ‘warriors’ or ‘wimps’. The militarist discourse marginalises opposition, diversity and difference, and with this the value of force as part of power is privileged, and militant nationalism exaggerated. Each local culture has its variant of the muscular discourse. As women try and increase their agency, the perception is that when women accept militarist notions of power it is easier for them to become part of national security and state institutions. This is a major challenge to feminist culture and thinking.

Varieties of Patriarchy and Violence Against Women : Resurrecting ”Patriarchy” as a Theoretical Tool.

Hunnicutt, Gwen (2009). Violence Against Women 15(5): 553-573.

Feminist scholars have produced abundant writings on violence against women, yet theory development has stagnated. The effort to construct a theory of patriarchy to explain violence against women was derailed by criticism. In this article, the author addresses some of these criticisms, uncovers the explanatory strengths of this concept, and lays some foundations for a more fully developed theory of violence against women because it keeps the theoretical focus on dominance, gender, and power. It also anchors the problem of violence against women in social conditions, rather than individual attributes.

Current Practices to Preventing Sexual Violence and Intimate Partner Violence.

Flood, Michael (2015) In: Holly Johnson; Bonnie S. Fisher & Vronique Jaquier (eds) Critical Issues on Violence Against Women. London and New York: Routledge (209-220).

Intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual violence are the outcome of a complex interplay of individual, relationship, community, institutional, and societal factors. Given this, violence prevention too must work at these multiple levels. This is recognized in common models of violence prevention, including the “ecological” model popularized by the World Health Organization and other frameworks such as the “spectrum of prevention”. This chapter describes and assesses a range of strategies of primary prevention – strategies to prevent initial perpetration or victimization. These strategies are intended to strengthen individual knowledge and skills, build healthy relationships and families, involve and develop communities, promote community norms of nonviolence, improve organizational practices and workplace and institutional cultures, lessen gender inequalities, and address the larger cultural, social and economic factors that contribute to violence. The chapter takes as given that much intimate partner and sexual violence concern men’s violence against women.

Factors influencing attitudes to violence against women.

Flood, Michael & Bob Pease (2009). Trauma, Violence, & Abuse 10(2): 125-142.

Attitudes toward mens violence against women shape both the perpetration of violence against women and responses to this violence by the victim and others around her. For these reasons, attitudes are the target of violence-prevention campaigns. To improve understanding of the determinants of violence against women and to aid the development of violence-prevention efforts, this article reviews the factors that shape attitudes toward violence against women. It offers a framework with which to comprehend the complex array of influences on attitudes toward violent behavior perpetrated by men against women. Two clusters of factors, associated with gender and culture, have an influence at multiple levels of the social order on attitudes regarding violence. Further factors operate at individual, organizational, communal, or societal levels in particular, although their influence may overlap across multiple levels. This article concludes with recommendations regarding efforts to improve attitudes toward violence against women.

From work with men and boys to changes of social norms and reduction of inequities in gender relations: a conceptual shift in prevention of violence against women and girls.

Jewkes, Rachel; Michael Flood & James Lang (2014). The Lancet 385(9977): 15801589.

Violence perpetrated by and against men and boys is a major public health problem. Although individual men’s use of violence differs, engagement of all men and boys in action to prevent violence against women and girls is essential. We discuss why this engagement approach is theoretically important and how prevention interventions have developed from treating men simply as perpetrators of violence against women and girls or as allies of women in its prevention, to approaches that seek to transform the relations, social norms, and systems that sustain gender inequality and violence. We review evidence of intervention effectiveness in the reduction of violence or its risk factors, features commonly seen in more effective interventions, and how strong evidence-based interventions can be developed with more robust use of theory. Future interventions should emphasize work with both men and boys and women and girls to change social norms on gender relations, and need to appropriately accommodate the differences between men and women in the design of programmes.

Men’s violence against women and men are inter-related: Recommendations for simultaneous intervention.

Fleming, Paul J., Sofia Gruskin, Florencia Rojo & Shari L. Dworkin (2015). Social Science & Medicine 146: 249-256.

Men are more likely than women to perpetrate nearly all types of interpersonal violence (e.g. intimate partner violence, murder, assault, rape). While public health programs target prevention efforts for each type of violence, there are rarely efforts that approach the prevention of violence holistically and attempt to tackle its common root causes. Drawing upon theories that explain the drivers of violence, we examine how gender norms, including norms and social constructions of masculinity, are at the root of most physical violence perpetration by men against women and against other men. We then argue that simply isolating each type of violence and constructing separate interventions for each type is inefficient and less effective. We call for recognition of the commonalities found across the drivers of different types of violence and make intervention recommendations with the goal of seeking more long-standing solutions to violence prevention.

Masculinities, Violence and (Post-)Conflict

The Transitional Justice Institute (TJI), the International Conflict Research Institute (INCORE) and the Institute for Research in Social Sciences (IRISS) at Ulster University will host a one-day postgraduate conference on ‘Masculinities, Violence and (Post-) Conflict’ in the Belfast campus.

This student led event will offer academic presentations, peer discussion, networking opportunities and expert feedback in a supportive environment.

The full programme will be available shortly.


Time 09:00 to 17:00

Location Belfast campus

Organiser Transitional Justice Institute, INCORE and IRISS

Contact details,

Caring Masculinities: Theorizing an Emerging Concept

Elliott, K. (2015). “Caring Masculinities: Theorizing an Emerging Concept.” Men and Masculinities.
A space has emerged for theorizing caring masculinities as the concept has increasingly become a focus of European critical studies on men and masculinities (CSMM). In this article, I present a practice-based framework of the concept. I propose that caring masculinities are masculine identities that reject domination and its associated traits and embrace values of care such as positive emotion, interdependence, and relationality. I suggest that these caring masculinities constitute a critical form of men’s engagement and involvement in gender equality and offer the potential of sustained social change for men and gender relations. I draw on CSMM and feminist care theory to construct the framework proposed here. In doing so, I offer a feminist exploration of how masculinities might be reworked into identities of care rather than domination.