This article is based on an ethnographic account of an association of retired fire fighters in the northern parts of Sweden. The intention is to outline how acts of storytelling and commemoration are paramount to aging in that they give a rite of passage to a particular process of aging. By this I suggest that my informants engaged in acts of commemoration in order to conflate age with experience. Investigating the interconnection between the aged fire fighters, their joint practices of storytelling and their preferences for certain tools rather than others this article proposes a revivified understanding of how the profession as a fire fighter is open to continuous modifications. The relation between different generations of fire fighters, as expressed in many of the joint narrations, showed that their exercises were masculinized and de-masculinized in tandem with the employment of professional tools. Scrutiny of the technological changes subsequently discloses a generational shift, which in turn encourages certain exercises whilst dismissing others. As the undertakings of a fire fighter rely on the instrumental utility the technological shifts contribute to fortifying differences between the age groups of the fire fighters.
Drawing on in-depth interviews and oral histories of longshoremen working at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which combined is the fifth largest port complex in the world, this paper examines the ways in which socially constructed notions of working-class masculinity structures historically male-dominated occupations and trade unions. I argue that working-class male longshoremen are experiencing a collective crisis of masculinity. The crisis of masculinity is not solely the result of women entering the industry, but instead is the outcome of an overall destabilization of mens collective class-based identities in response to massive technological changes and a concomitant shift in the gendered regulation of workplace practices, defined by mens embodied connection to longshore labor, as well as the challenging of the homosocial culture of the waterfront by female longshoremen. The collective crisis of dominant longshoremens masculinity, precipitated by technological and gendered workplace changes, played a major role in the backlash against women entering the industry leading to numerous gender discrimination lawsuits against the union (ILWU).
This article focuses on the issue of old-age masculinities by exploring if and how the process of growing old affects the gendered self-images of Swedish old male athletes. It follows the grounded theory research design of Kathy Charmaz and is based on interviews with nine athletes aged 68 to 90. The findings in this article indicate that the athletes withdraw from the masculine practice of competitive sports because it is not considered to be age-appropriate. The men seem to reconstruct their self-images in accordance with four old-age masculinity themes: being physically active, being a leader, being a busy senior, and being a family man. The concept of successful aging is found to be particularly significant in reshaping the mens self-images. Therefore, this article proposes a combination of the concepts of hegemonic masculinity and successful aging in order to increase the understanding of old-age masculinities.
The point of departure for this article is a collective dominated by men; people interested in listening to music and sound through high fidelity (hi-fi) stereo equipment (audiophiles). The hi-fi culture actually attracts many different categories of people, such as music lovers, record buyers and collectors, hi-fi show visitors, designers, and journalists, but numerically most of them are men. According to some descriptions the hi-fi collective is also dominated by nerds or geeks, categories associated with a marginal masculinity. This article examines, with the help of ethnographical methods and media material, how an audiophile discourse articulated in the hi-fi culture reproduces gender, especially the relation between men, masculinity and technology. The theoretical point of departure is discourse theory and a perspective of logics, which can promote an understanding of the principles for gender reproduction. However, the hi-fi culture is also an illustration of counter-logics, showing how gender (re)production is an unstable process located in the space between the subjective and the discursive level.
This article analyses local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Cambodia and their programmes against gender-based violence (GBV), in order to understand what notions of power, agency and resistance that reside within these programmes. What theoretical concepts do we need in order to understand the organizations attempts to reduce GBV?
The interviews displayed a number of practices of resistance against GBV. In particular the organizations emphasized the importance of approaching men in the resistance against GBV. In their approach to Cambodian men, the (male) trainers of the organizations used different strategies. Overall, the analysis shows how local organizations try to promote a global (western informed) image of a peaceful, caring man. For example, the Cambodian trainers mixed different kinds of representations in order to negotiate the prevailing masculinity. The mens argumentations were also deconstructed by the trainers who exposed the multiple meanings and contradictions that dwelled in the mens claims of a proper masculinity. In addition, the organizations attempted to utilize a hegemonic masculinity in negotiating local violent masculinities. In the nexus between different masculinities, the hegemonic masculinity composes a norm, creating a disciplinary process where individual men are forced to adapt to the practices and characteristics of this masculinity.