Hearn, Jeff, Muller, Ursula, Oleksy, Elzbieta H., Pringle, Keith, Lattu, Emmi, Chernova, Janna, Ferguson, Harry, Holter, Oystein Gullvag, Kolga, Voldemar, Novikova, Irina, Olsvik, Elvind, Ventimiglia, Carmine and Tallberg, Teemu (2002) European-wide critical studies on men: asking theoretical, substantive, political and practical questions. In: XVth International Sociological Association World Congress on Sociology ’The Social World in the Twenty First Century: Ambivalent Legacies and Rising Challenges’, 7-13 July 2002, Brisbane, Australia. (Unpublished)

Over the last twenty years or more there has been a substantial development of the critical sociology of men and masculinities. More recently there has been increasing sociological research on men and masculinities that moves beyond the earlier sex role models and places questions of power more centrally. These questions lie at the heart of the EU Research Network on Men in Europe (2000-2003), a 10-nation network of feminist and pro-feminist researchers researching collaboratively on men’s practices in the countries involved. The network’s main foci are men in relation to home/work, violences, health, and social exclusion. This paper reviews major theoretical, political, substantive, and practical issues arising in the conduct of the project, and the general development of the academic field. Theoretical issues include the extent to which research on men’s practices can be separated from other sociological fields; national and cultural contextualisation of the problematisation of men and masculinities; and the development of appropriate comparative measures. Substantive concerns include the relationship of men’s power and privilege throughout the countries, and the intersection of structural change in work and employment, violence, relative ill-health and social exclusion of some men. Political and practical issues are also explored

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