Men’s Studies Lacking in the UK12 November 2008
Gender studies, particularly women’s studies, has spread in a diffused manner throughout the world. Aside from political groups and action teams, conferences have been sponsored in India, Malaysia, Australia, Hong Kong, Sweden – and the list goes on.
In the English speaking academy, the United States and the United Kingdom have each done considerable work. Yet, if you thought the American output of men’s studies has struggled in recent years, consider the UK, which has failed to produce much in the field.
An upcoming conference in Scotland illustrates the point: a notable lack of awareness and interest in British masculinities. Take away gay studies and little is being said about men at all! Having lived in the United Kingdom, I can tell you with all certainty that British men have their own hegemonic standards, and a fascinating history to go with it. Does the climate of the university system account primarily for this lacuna? Or are there broader cultural forces establishing this trend?