„Bro's, Homes, and Dudes“ - Men and Masculinities in the 20th Century American Family
2.12.2010 – 04.12.2010, ESG Münster
Deadline: 15.09.2010 – Announcement of participants after 01.10.2010
Changes of family values are strongly connected to changing concepts of masculinity. One cannot understand the change of family values without regarding notions of masculinity and the male role within the family.
Whereas the role of men was considered to be an exclusively public one around 1900, the 20th century saw an alteration of the notions of private and public with the family being a contested field. In the 1950s, the husband was supposed to be the sole breadwinner and labor unions fought to preserve the so-called family wage. With the rise of feminism, queer studies and the changes of the post-industrial economy in the 1970s, this concept was challenged and with it the notions of masculinity. Also, the role of the father within the family was reconsidered by (male) experts focusing on the ideal of white middle-class nuclear families. In minority families, the roots of crime and poverty were found in the absence of fathers in African American communities or in the dominance of fathers in Mexican American families. Meanwhile in the 1980s, conservatives declared a crisis of masculinity since the strong, single bread-winning father did not seem to be in demand anymore and men were struggling to find a new role within the family. Thus, concepts of masculinity are constantly debated within the context of value change.
This workshop aims at theorizing concepts of masculinities and investigating in longitudinal studies the changes in notions of masculinities within the context of the family. Especially, the role of fathers / absent fathers for the family will be in the center of the debate. We are interested in longitudinal studies or case studies showing how changes in the concepts of masculinities were discussed in expert discourses, how they were represented in the popular media (television, film) and how different notions of masculinities with regards to race and class were dealt with and how those were connected to crime and poverty.
Paper proposals may include, but are not limited to:
concepts of masculinities intersecting with race and class
representations of masculinities in popular media
concepts of masculinity and crime
(male) expert debates about masculinities
This workshop is organized by the Emmy-Noether Junior Research Group „Family Values and Social Change: The US-American Family in the 20th Century“ at the University of Münster, Germany and is meant to be complementary to our Summer Workshop „At the Heart of it All: Concepts of Motherhood in the 20th Century USA“ (Münster, July 15th – 17th, 2010). We will cover accommodation in Münster and travel costs (economy flights, public transportation).
All presentations should be held in English.
Please send an abstract of no more than three pages by September 15th to:
For further information, please contact:
Prof. Dr. Isabel Heinemann (firstname.lastname@example.org),
Claudia Roesch, M.A. (email@example.com)
Emmy Noether Nachwuchsgruppe „Familienwerte im gesellschaftlichen Wandel: Die US-amerikanische Familie im 20. Jahrhundert“
Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster
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