Men's research

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Men's research is an interdisciplinary science that deals with the topic of men and masculinity . This includes social science , educational , psychological and historical research. Similar to women's research, research takes place primarily in the context of gender studies . However, it has not yet been able to establish itself as an independent discipline in German-speaking countries.

Critical male research

Due to the systematic exclusion of women from universities, research was mostly done by men until the middle of the twentieth century ( androcentrism ), since only men were allowed to participate. In contrast to male-dominated science, the research on men and masculinity that emerged in the 1980s was called critical research on men .

Critical men's research is largely based on an emancipatory , and sometimes also a feminist, approach. In other words, she questions existing role models and shares central concepts that are based on feminist approaches in women's and gender studies and develops them further for her own purposes.

Within Critical Men's Studies, however, it is controversial how it relates to feminist women's and gender studies. In the beginning there were prominent statements by profeminist male researchers who postulated a subordination or subordination of male research. Others saw and see critical research on men as an important complement to feminist research on women, which may also have to deal critically with the blind spots .

Principles of Critical Male Research according to Jeff Hearn

In 1987, in the magazine of the English men's movement "Achilles Heel", Jeff Hearn developed five principles that should be used for future critical research on men:

  1. Men should respect the autonomy of women's research , which is not to say, conversely, demanding autonomy in men's research.
  2. Men's research should be open to women and men.
  3. The primary goal of men's research is to develop a critique of male practice, at least in part from a feminist perspective.
  4. Men's research is to be designed on an interdisciplinary basis .
  5. Men who do research on men must question their research, learning, teaching and theorizing practices in order not to reproduce the patriarchal form of disinterested positivism . The aim is to increase the awareness of men.

In 1990 Jeff Hearn and David Morgan added to these principles in “ The critique of men ” the points that (heterosexual) men should not apply for research funding and university positions advertised for gender studies, and that feminist science and women's studies in the own research and in the institutions.

These profeminist principles were also adopted by parts of early German men's research in the 1990s, but were critically discussed by others.

Critical men's research according to Raewyn Connell

The Australian sociologist Raewyn Connell takes the position that different masculinity have existed side by side since early modern times . Connell defines masculinity as a practice , by which she understands more than the concept of role theory , which she criticizes. She tries to work out masculinity as a dominant relationship among men, towards women and in connection with other conditions of oppression. In addition, it determines the historical change in the prevailing masculinity as conditioned by the respective production relationship in society. What all masculinity has in common is the “ patriarchal dividend ”, that is, the profit that men receive in a patriarchal society.

Connell distinguishes between hegemonic masculinity and three forms of non- hegemonic masculinity:

  • marginalized masculinity
  • accomplice-like masculinity
  • subordinate masculinity

Hegemonic masculinity is not a characteristic of an individual person, but rather a dominant cultural ideal in a particular social and historical context of what a “real man” is. Hegemonic masculinity structures the relationships between women and men as well as those between men, for example by devaluing and marginalizing other forms of masculinity. She is the masculinity that is most effective in maintaining patriarchy . This sexual hegemony usually takes place with the consent and cooperation of those who are ruled. Connell adopted the term hegemony in this regard from the Marxist Gramsci . A historically early type that Connell identified as hegemonic masculinity was the conquistador , who embodied masculinity and dominance on the “frontline”. This masculinity form was replaced by the " gentry masculinity " (the upper middle class, for example George Washington). Today the representatives of hegemonic masculinity can be found in the Federal Republic of Germany, for example in management (Ralf Lange) and in "research and technology policy " (Peter Döge).

Marginalized masculinity , according to Connell, is a member of non-dominant classes and ethnic groups. In Germany, for example, workers or certain men with a migration background cannot show any hegemonic masculinity because they either have the “wrong” class or the “wrong” ethnicity ( intersectional male research examines multiple disadvantages of men who have both attributes ). Under complicit masculinity Connell understands the masculinity of such men who can not embody the cherish nominal masculinity, but this support so that they benefit from it. According to Connell, subordinate masculinity is for example gay or transgender masculinity designs.


See also

List of well-known men and women researchers


Individual evidence

  1. Cf. BauSsteine ​​Männer, Kritische Männerforschung: New approaches in the gender theory, Hamburg 1996
  2. Michael Meuser: Theory: Gender and masculinity in sociological discourse . In: Gender and Masculinity . 3rd edition, VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden 2010, pp. 17-134, doi: 10.1007 / 978-3-531-92046-7 2 .
  3. ^ Michael Tunç: Research on masculinity and intersectionality. In: Retrieved December 16, 2016 . Pp. 2-7, 15-16.

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