Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

    Steely determination? Constructions of masculinity in a former UK steelworker community

    Garcia, Reece ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8052-9160 (2022) Steely determination? Constructions of masculinity in a former UK steelworker community. Gender, Work and Organization, 29 (4). pp. 1025-1040. ISSN 0968-6673

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    Through qualitative interviews and overt non-participant observation with 15 former steelworkers and their sons, changes in perceptions of masculinity are explored across a generation in a deindustrialized community in Sheffield, UK. Despite some policing of their behavior by the fathers, heterogeneity in both options and choices regarding employment and life outside of work resulted in the sons conceptualizing masculinity in different and often complex ways. The younger men are found to orientate to, modify, or reject tenets of traditional masculinity depending upon what best aligns with their personal circumstance, which naturally changes over time. The evidence does not point to a crisis of masculinity, more plausibly a crisis in masculinity as what constitutes acceptable masculine behavior—in a community characterized as having relatively homogenous views—changes, but the gender binary, importance of masculinity to young men's identity, and the patriarchal dividend remain intact.

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