Is masculinity changing? Evidence from qualitative research on men’s appearance-related practices
Professor Brendan Gough
Leeds Beckett University, UK
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
1:30 – 3:00 pm
Faculty of Education, Room 1139 (Community Room)
All are welcome. Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to Tina Beynen: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: In this talk I consider how heterosexual men are investing in their appearance in light of the contemporary consumerist promotion of body perfection on the one hand and the ‘obesity epidemic’ on the other. I draw on studies of male ‘metrosexual’ cosmetic use and men engaged in weight management projects to examine how men account for their investment in appearance practices. The data highlight that men are indeed interested in how they look, that they often frame their grooming activities in masculinised ways, and that they sometimes display vulnerability when body-related aspirations are not fulfilled. These findings are discussed with reference to debates on contemporary masculinities, and I suggest that conventional notions of masculinity still inform men’s construction of embodied practices and identities.
Bio: Professor Gough is a critical social psychologist and qualitative researcher interested in men and masculinities. Now based at Leeds Beckett University, he has published many papers on gender identities and relations, mostly in the context of health, lifestyles and wellbeing. Prof. Gough is co-founder and co-editor of the journal Qualitative Research in Psychology; he edits the Critical Psychology section of the journal Social & Personality Psychology Compass, and is associate editor for the journal Psychology of Men and Masculinity. He has co-authored/edited three books in the areas of critical social psychology, reflexivity in qualitative research, and men’s health.