One of the recurrent images in Norwegian films produced in the 2000s is that of the socially inhibited male protagonist suffering from various psychiatric diagnoses. This article claims that the popularity of suffering manhood on screen must be understood in the context of Norway’s cultural and political self-comprehension as generous and compassionate. Through an analysis of two films, Elling (Næss 2001) and Kunsten å tenke negativt /The art of negative thinking (Breien 2006), the article further demonstrates how compassion as a Norwegian ‘state emotion’ often consolidates established notions of manhood and Norwegian national identity.
The (historical) countryside town of Sortavala, Russia is located within close proximity to the Finnish border. The town has become a tourist destination for a number of Finnish tourists since the relaxation of these international borders regulations in the 1990s. During the past years, Finnish male tourists have been the most visible partakers of Sortavala’s commercial sexscapes. This article explores how homosociality is constructed and maintained in the sexscapes of Sortavala among Finnish men as a way to legitimaze sex tourism and the sexualisation of Russian-speaking women.
The boom in food television has presented a whole new gallery of celebrity chefs. It is striking that the majority are men and that many of them can be read as ways of negotiating an ‘uncertain’ masculine position through cooking. A case in point is The Naked Chef (1999–2001) in which Jamie Oliver uses cooking to balance competing discourses on masculinity in his cosmopolitan London life style. This article sets out to compare the way masculinity is performed through cooking in The Naked Chef and the popular Danish food show Spise med Price (2008–), in which two brothers cook in an isolated summerhouse. Theoretically, the analysis is inspired by Søndergaard’s theory on post-traditional gender as constant negotiation of fluid gender boundaries. Cooking can be a way of doing this balancing project, as seen in the case of The Naked Chef. It is argued that in Spise med Price cooking is used to create a performative space of homosocial bonding that allows the two brothers to play with the taboos of everyday life. This homosociality is rendered ambivalent through an explicit use of irony and humour. The Naked Chef and Spise med Price can be read as different ways of using cooking to perform masculinity to a post-traditional era. Finally, it is suggested that Spise med Price could be seen as part of a tendency for cooking shows that portray men escaping the post-traditional social scene and its imperative for gender negotiation.
This study aims to add to knowledge on the relation between ageing and masculinity in society by looking at how older unmarried and childless men in a small Swedish rural community articulate their masculinity in relation to being old. The study is based on interviews with eleven men. An intersectional perspective is used to analyse how age and gender interplay in the self-presentations as well as how their identity is articulated in relation to the rural context. The interviewed men articulate their identity through the use of a logic we call ‘what I have done is who I am’. This reaffirms the rural aspect of their masculine identity as well as the work-centred values of midlife as a reference point in the identity construction in old age when their bodies to a diminishing degree can live up to the physically defined masculinity of the rural context. In this situation, the local rural community is important for the way the men perform both age and masculinity in their daily lives. The men's place integration can have a mitigating effect as it makes it possible to have their physically defined rural masculinity accepted as the ‘truth’ of who they are. To be known, to have their history known, we argue is central for the resignification of the old, devalued, body as a masculine body. Their continued place integration is a resource in that it can sustain their self-presentation as men defined by their stoic work character and not by their age.
This article focuses on a qualitative in-depth study of fatherhood and family life in relation to the hospitalization of families with children suffering from heart disease. The purpose of the study is to unfold fathers and mothers’ experiences of living at a hospital, for a shorter or longer period, surrounded by treatment strategies and regimes that are shaping their lives. The article is based on individual interviews and focus group interviews with 34 family members. The interviews concern the families’ confrontation with the hospital’s ability to make space for sleeping, eating, socializing and embracing (regimes) families during hospitalization. The regimes determine how families can live their lives, and are in this sense theoretically important for understanding fatherhood and family life. The results of the research show that regimes in the hospital, affect families to such an extent, that family life changes towards a traditional gender division of tasks and towards a traditional distanced oriented fatherhood, which is contradictory to the fathers own stated desire to act as emotionally and present in their children’s life.