Men in Care – Masculinity, Care Work and Gender Equality

CALL FOR PAPERS: Men in Care – Masculinity, Care Work and Gender Equality

The inclusion of men in unpaid and paid care work is important not only from a gender equality perspective, but also with respect to the worsening care crisis. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the question of who is willing to take on socially necessary care tasks, for what motives and under what conditions, gains significance. In fact, the proportion of male care workers in the traditionally women-dominated care professions is rising, and men are also taking on more domestic care responsibilities. Who are the men who engage in care professions or domestic care work and what conclusions can be drawn from this for the care debate?
This special issue of GENDER focuses on the changes that occur in the care sector and in domestic care work if men are more involved in care activities. What is the significance of the presence of men in social professions and how does it affect established job profiles and stereotypical attributions of competence? How do men frame care work and how do they integrate it into their self-concept? Does it lead to a change in hegemonic gender conceptions? Additionally, the question is raised as to what socio-structural conditions influence male care activities and what makes care work attractive to men? From an intersectional perspective, it is also of interest to find out which characteristics become apparent with regard to migration aspects, social class or age of male care workers. Furthermore, this issue will contain contributions that deal with masculinity and care from cultural, media and literary perspectives.

Possible questions/research topics in detail

  • What factors influence male care work?
  • How is the practice of care work experienced by men? What roles do physicality and emotionality play, such as feelings of shame or disgust?
  • What factors increase the number of men in care professions?
  • What access difficulties and challenges can be observed for men in the field of care?
  • Which research desiderata are evident with regard to intersectional analysis?
  • Do debates in the context of care work change if the gender ratio in care professions shifts or the gender care gap decreases?
  • What political demands and perspectives can be formulated with regard to men and care work? Which approaches are suitable or require critical revision?

Please submit a one- to two-page abstract by 24 January 2021.

Publication Date:

30 November 2020


24 January 2021