Exploring Movement Towards Openness

  • Karla ElliottEmail author
Part of the Genders and Sexualities in the Social Sciences book series (GSSS)


This chapter investigates the emergence and valuing of more progressive, positive or open forms of masculinity, while keeping continuing harmful expressions of masculinity in mind. One route towards openness emerges as masculinity, mobility and paid work are reconfigured in connection with one another, though this constitutes a privileged form of work towards openness, and by no means the only one. The chapter also teases out potentials for masculinities emerging from greater scope for men’s expression and a lessening of discourses of stark differences between men and women. Positive developments in terms of men’s caring in friendships and work lives are highlighted too, even if this caring contrasts to the forms of care work women are obligated to perform. The narratives explored in this chapter highlight that while there is still much work to be done, it is possible for more advantaged men to move towards greater egalitarianism.


  1. Aronowitz, Stanley, and Jonathan Cutler (eds.). 1998. Post-work: The wages of cybernation. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Baines, Donna, Sara Charlesworth, and Ian Cunningham. 2015. Changing care? Men and managerialism in the non-profit sector. Journal of Social Work 15 (5): 459–478.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Behnke, Cornelia, and Sylka Scholz. 2015. Ambivalenzen und Spezifika in ostdeutschen Paar-Arrangements und väterlichen Praxen. In Männlichkeit und Reproduktion: Zum gesellschaftlichen Ort historischer und aktueller Männlichkeitsproduktionen, ed. Andreas Heilmann, Gabriele Jähnert, Falko Schnicke, Charlott Schönwetter, and Mascha Vollhardt, 155–174. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.Google Scholar
  4. Bridges, Tristan, and C.J. Pascoe. 2014. Hybrid masculinities: New directions in the sociology of men and masculinities. Sociology Compass 8 (3): 246–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Connell, R.W. 2000. The men and the boys. St Leonards: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  6. Demetriou, Demetrakis Z. 2001. Connell’s concept of hegemonic masculinity: A critique. Theory and Society 30 (3): 337–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. de Visser, Richard O., and Jonathan A. Smith. 2007. Alcohol consumption and masculine identity among young men. Psychology & Health 22 (5): 595–614.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Elliott, Karla. 2019a. Negotiations between progressive and ‘traditional’ expressions of masculinity among young Australian men. Journal of Sociology 55 (1): 108–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Elliott, Karla. 2019b. Zum Problem von Macht und Dominanz im Konzept Caring Masculiniites. In Caring masculinities? Männlichkeiten in der Transformation kapitalistischer Wachstumsgesellschaften, ed. Sylka Scholz and Andreas Heilmann, 201–212. Munich: Oekom Verlag.Google Scholar
  10. Elliott, Karla, and Steven Roberts. 2020. Balancing generosity and critique: Reflections on interviewing young men and implications for research methodologies and ethics. Qualitative Research.
  11. Elliott, Karla, Steven Roberts, Brittany Ralph, and Brady Robards. Under review. Theorising masculinity, autonomy and relationality through a study of men’s drinking practices. Google Scholar
  12. Friedman, Marilyn. 1993. What are friends for? Feminist perspectives on personal relationships and moral theory. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Hanlon, Niall. 2012. Masculinities, care and equality: Identity and nurture in men’s lives. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Huppatz, Kate, and Susan Goodwin. 2013. Masculinised jobs, feminised jobs and men’s ‘gender capital’ experiences: Understanding occupational segregation in Australia. Journal of Sociology 49 (2–3): 291–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jyrkinen, Marjut, Maria Väkiparta, and Anna-Maija Lämsä. 2019. Care and gendered work in reception centres in Finland. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
  16. Lindsay, Jo. 2012. The gendered trouble with alcohol: Young people managing alcohol related violence. International Journal of Drug Policy 23 (3): 236–241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Nath, Jemál. 2011. Gendered fare? A qualitative investigation of alternative food and masculinities. Journal of Sociology 47 (3): 261–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Pease, Bob. 2011. Men in social work: Challenging or reproducing an unequal gender regime? Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work 26 (4): 406–418.Google Scholar
  19. Ralph, Brittany, and Steven Roberts. 2018. One small step for man: Change and continuity in perceptions and enactments of homosocial intimacy among young Australian men. Men and Masculinities. Scholar
  20. Roberts, Steven. 2018. Young working-class men in transition. Abingdon: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Roberts, Steven, Brittany Ralph, Karla Elliott, Brady Robards, Michael Savic, Jo Lindsay, Kerry O’Brien, and Dan I. Lubman. 2019. Exploring men’s risky drinking cultures. Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, Melbourne.Google Scholar
  22. Rojek, Chris. 2002. Civil labour, leisure and post work society. Society and Leisure 25 (1): 21–35.Google Scholar
  23. Rojek, Chris. 2005. Leisure and tourism. In The Sage handbook of sociology, ed. Craig Calhoun, Chris Rojek, and Bryan Turner, 302–313. London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Scholz, Sylka. 2012. Männlichkeitssoziologie: Studien aus den sozialen Feldern Arbeit, Politik und Militär im vereinten Deutschland. Münster: Westfälisches Dampfboot.Google Scholar
  25. Strate, Lance. 1992. Beer commercials: A manual on masculinity. In Men, masculinity, and the media, ed. Steve Craig, 88–102. Newbury Park: Sage.Google Scholar
  26. Sumpter, Kristen C. 2015. Masculinity and meat consumption: An analysis through the theoretical lens of hegemonic masculinity and alternative masculinity theories. Sociology Compass 9 (2): 104–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Threadgold, Steven. 2018. Creativity, precarity and illusio: DIY cultures and ‘choosing poverty’. Cultural Sociology 12 (2): 156–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Tomsen, Stephen. 2008. ‘Boozers and bouncers’: Masculine conflict, disengagement and the contemporary governance of drinking-related violence and disorder. In Crime, criminal justice and masculinities, ed. Stephen Tomsen, 297–311. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Monash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

Personalised recommendations