JAS Special issue - “Ageing Masculinities: Social and Cultural Representations”
Call for Abstract Submissions
Guest Editors: Jose M. Armengol, Roberta Maierhofer, Marge Unt & Liat Ayalon
Traditionally, Gender Studies has focused on women. Politically, this is logical. It is women who have experienced the worst effects of gender discrimination, and so it is women who were the first to make gender visible as a political category. Since the late 1980s, however, Gender Studies has increasingly focused on the lives of men recognizing the interconnectedness of the categories and the importance of active male participation in the struggle for gender equality in order for us all to live better, happier lives. Over the last twenty years, Gender Studies have increasingly expanded to incorporate critical studies on masculinities, which Michael Kimmel defines as the study of “men as men,” that is, “men as gendered beings” (2000). This has contributed to understanding masculinity – namely, the “signs, attributes, behaviours, roles, and/or practices that are associated with being a man/social male” (Hearn 2006) – as a specific gendered category revealing it as a social construction across different times and cultures (Gilmore 1990). In turn, this has promoted a thriving interdisciplinary field of masculinity research, which has given way to a fast-growing number of publications in the Social Sciences and the Humanities, including among others sociological, psychological, historical, anthropological, and cultural studies of masculinity.
Much less attention had been paid, however, to the specific intersection of gender and age, especially older men and masculinities (Thompson 2004). As principal investigators of a recently funded EU-research project on masculinities (www.mascage.eu), we are specifically interested in bringing together research conducted by scholars from different disciplines (including both the Social Sciences and Humanities) and nationalities in the fields of aging and gender studies. This special issue thus aims to be fundamentally interdisciplinary, focusing on both social science and primary data collection as well as critical studies of ageing masculinities as represented in literature and cinema. We specifically encourage collaborations between researchers from different disciplines and nationalities in order to explore the interactions between social constructions and cultural representation of ageing masculinities. The special issue will reflect our current collaborative efforts to better conceptualize and bring together the research in the field, especially the relevance of cultural representations to social constructions of aging masculinities, and the other way round.