Pharmaceutically-Made Men: Masculinities in Chad’s Emergent Oil Economy

Citation:

Leonard, Lori. 2016. “Pharmaceutically-Made Men: Masculinities in Chad’s Emergent Oil Economy.” Qualitative Sociology 39 (4): 421–37. doi:10.1007/s11133-016-9343-6.

Author: Lori Leonard

Abstract:

This article explores masculinities and changes in men's lives in the rural oil fields of Chad during the period of an oil and pipeline project described by the World Bank as a "model" for oil-as-development. In many parts of Africa, private sector investment is concentrated in the extractive industries, especially oil and gas projects. Africa's emerging oil economies entail new institutional configurations, or what Michael Watts called an "oil complex," that challenge antecedent norms and forms of identity. In this article, I describe the expectations, desires, and experiences of three distinct groups of men-those who found temporary employment on the project, those who continued to make a living from farming while contending with land expropriation, and those who migrated to oil field towns in search of work-to make three general points about the oil complex and masculinities in Chad. The structure of the global oil industry meant that local men who found jobs on the project could act as breadwinners and patriarchs, but only temporarily; local workers struggled post-employment with their exclusion from the possibilities associated with the project. Men who never found jobs continued to eke out a living from the land, but state-of-the-art policies governing land expropriation led simultaneously to conflict in families and greater economic interdependence among family members. Finally, in the low-media environment of the oil field region, ideas and images about sex, sexuality, and love emanating from the transient and hyper-masculine global oil industry workforce served as models for landless young men who migrated to oil field towns and who, in the absence of work, sought to transform themselves into objects of desire through the mediation of pharmaceuticals.

Keywords: Chad, extractive industries, land expropriation, lay-offs, masculinity, oil, pipeline, pornography, Viagra, africa

Topics: Development, Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Sexuality Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Chad

Year: 2016

© 2017 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.