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Australia

A Whole New World: Remaking Masculinity in the Context of the Environmental Movement

Citation:

Connell, Robert W. 1990. “A Whole New World: Remaking Masculinity in the Context of the Environmental Movement.” Gender and Society 4 (4): 452-78.

Author: Robert W. Connell

Abstract:

The impact of feminism on men has produced both backlash and attempts to reconstruct masculinity. The Australian environmental movement, strongly influenced by countercultural ideas, is a case in which feminist pressure has produced significant attempts at change among men. These are explored through life-history interviews founded on a practice-based theory of gender. Six life histories are traced through three dialectical moments: engagement with hegemonic masculinity; separation focused on an individualized remaking of the self, involving an attempt to undo oedipal masculinization; and a shift toward collective politics. This last and most important step remains tentative.

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations Regions: Oceania Countries: Australia

Year: 1990

Rural Male Suicide in Australia

Citation:

Alston, Margaret. 2012. “Rural Male Suicide in Australia.” Social Science & Medicine 74 (4): 515-22.

Author: Margaret Alston

Abstract:

The rate of suicide amongst Australia’s rural men is significantly higher than rural women, urban men or urban women. There are many explanations for this phenomenon including higher levels of social isolation, lower socio-economic circumstances and ready access to firearms. Another factor is the challenge of climate transformation for farmers. In recent times rural areas of Australia have been subject to intense climate change events including a significant drought that has lingered on for over a decade. Climate variability together with lower socio-economic conditions and reduced farm production has combined to produce insidious impacts on the health of rural men. This paper draws on research conducted over several years with rural men working on farms to argue that attention to the health and well-being of rural men requires an understanding not only of these factors but also of the cultural context, inequitable gender relations and a dominant form of masculine hegemony that lauds stoicism in the face of adversity. A failure to address these factors will limit the success of health and welfare programs for rural men.

Keywords: Australia, suicide, men, rural, gender relations, masculinity, climate, farming

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Health, Mental Health Regions: Oceania Countries: Australia

Year: 2012

Understanding the Vulnerability, Resilience and Adaptive Capacity of Households in Rural Victorian Towns in the Context of Long-Term Water Insecurity

Citation:

Stebbing, M.S., M. Carey, M. Sinclair, and M. Sim. 2013. “Understanding the Vulnerability, Resilience and Adaptive Capacity of Households in Rural Victorian Towns in the Context of Long-Term Water Insecurity.” Australasian Journal of Water Resources 17 (2): 193-201.

Authors: M. S. Stebbing, M. Carey, M. Sinclair, M. Sim

Abstract:

While the range of impacts of a changing climate on farming communities has been extensively studied in Australia, little is known about how individuals and households in small rural towns adapt to the effects of long-term water insecurity. The health and wellbeing impacts of climate variability may be experienced as direct or indirect health impacts or as reduced access to health and other services as reduced economic viability affects rural towns. Identifying risk factors for vulnerability and local measures and practices that will reduce health and wellbeing impacts offers evidence for climate change adaptation policy direction at the local, state and national level. This paper discusses the results of a study that aimed to improve understanding of the vulnerability, resilience and adaptive capacity of rural communities at the household scale. Focus groups with town residents and key informant interviews were conducted in three rural towns in Western Victoria experiencing differing water security challenges during a period of “drought”. Perceived health and wellbeing impacts and the differing ways in which residents adapted their lives to accommodate these changes were explored. The study revealed a range of physical, mental, oral health and food security impacts on health and wellbeing. There were clear gender differences in the ways that men and women identified, communicated and dealt with these impacts. Perceived water quality and cost were shown to be key determinants of acceptance of the small town reticulated water supply. The results of this study suggest that a history of conservatism, degree of community connectedness and communication, the small town ethic of self-reliance, and the openness of government to community involvement in decision making, planning and action around water supplies are important factors in determining resilience to threats to water security in small rural towns. 

Keywords: water security, water-supply, rural, water use, climate change adaptation

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Health, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Security, Food Security Regions: Oceania Countries: Australia

Year: 2013

Bushfires Are "Men’s Business": The Importance of Gender and Rural Hegemonic Masculinity

Citation:

Tyler, Meagan, and Peter Fairbrother. 2013. “Bushfires Are ‘Men’s Business’: The Importance of Gender and Rural Hegemonic Masculinity.” Journal of Rural Studies 30 (April): 110–19.

Authors: Meagan Tyler, Peter Fairbrother

Abstract:

This paper offers a critical review of the international literature on gender, disaster and rural masculinities. Empirical reference is made to bushfires in Australia, offering new evidence from the State of Victoria. Bushfires loom large in the Australian imagination and there is an increasing amount of research now being conducted in relation to bushfire events. A significant gap remains, however, with regard to the issue of gender. Despite increasing evidence that gender plays a significant role with reference to disaster risk assessment, preparation and response, a gendered analysis of bushfire preparation and response has not been a sustained research priority. Building on the writing of others, a critical assessment is provided of the concept of a specifically Australian, rural hegemonic masculinity as a possible way of better understanding the social dimensions of gender, and bushfire preparation and response in the Australian context. This conceptual consideration is extended to draw attention to the process whereby alternative conceptions of masculinities may emerge. This recognition provides a basis for further research on gender and disaster internationally.

Keywords: gender, masculinity, bushfire, wildfire, community fireguard

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations Regions: Oceania Countries: Australia

Year: 2013

The Fallen Hero: Masculinity, Shame and Farmer Suicide in Australia

Citation:

Bryant, Lia, and Bridget Garnham. 2015. “The Fallen Hero: Masculinity, Shame and Farmer Suicide in Australia.” Gender, Place & Culture 22 (1): 67–82.

Authors: Lia Bryant, Bridget Garnham

Abstract:

The drought-stricken Australian rural landscape, cultures of farming masculinity and an economy of value, moral worth and pride form a complex matrix of discourses that shape subjective dynamics that render suicide a possibility for distressed farmers. However, the centrality of a ‘mental health’ perspective and reified notions of ‘stoicism’ within this discursive field operate to exclude consideration of the ways in which cultural identity is linked to emotions. To illuminate and explore complex connections between subjectivity, moral worth and affect in relation to understanding farmer suicide, this article draws on theory and literature on agrarian discourses of masculine subjectivity and shame to analyze empirical data from interviews with farmers during times of environmental, social and economic crisis. The idealized notion of the farming man as ‘Aussie battler’ emerges from romantic agrarian mythology in which pride and self-worth are vested in traditional values of hard work, struggle and self-sacrifice. However, the structural context of agriculture, as it is shaped by the political economy of neoliberalism, threatens farm economic viability and is eroding the pride, self-worth and masculine identity of farmers. The article suggests that the notion of the ‘fallen hero’ captures a discursive shift of a masculinity ‘undone’, a regress from the powerful position of masculine subjectivity imbued with pride to one of shame that is of central importance to understanding how suicide emerges as a possibility for farmers.

Keywords: masculinity, rurality, suicide, farmer, shame

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Health, Mental Health, Political Economies Regions: Oceania Countries: Australia

Year: 2015

Contemporary Feminist Analysis of Australian Farm Women in the Context of Climate Changes

Citation:

Alston, Margaret, Josephine Clarke, and Kerri Whittenbury. 2018. “Contemporary Feminist Analysis of Australian Farm Women in the Context of Climate Changes.” Social Sciences 7 (2): 16.

Authors: Margaret Alston, Josephine Clark, Kerri Whittenbury

Abstract:

Climate changes are reshaping agricultural production and food security across the world. One result is that women in both the developed and developing world are increasingly being drawn into agricultural labour. Yet, because the labour of women has historically been marginalised and ignored, these changes remain largely unacknowledged. In this paper, we examine gender changes in agricultural labour allocations on Australian irrigated dairy farms impacted by climate-related reductions in water available for irrigation. In the Murray-Darling Basin area of Australia, long years of drought and the need to address ecological degradation have led to the introduction of water saving methods and these have had major impacts at the farm level. We present research indicating that a major outcome has been an increase in women’s labour on- and off-farms. Yet, the lack of attention to gendered labour distribution continues the historical neglect of women’s labour, maintains patriarchal relations in agriculture, significantly impacts women’s views of themselves as agricultural outsiders, and reduces attention to a gendered analysis of climate change outcomes. We argue that gender mainstreaming of climate and agricultural policies is long overdue.

Keywords: feminism, climate change, rural women, agricultural labour

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Livelihoods, Security, Food Security Regions: Oceania Countries: Australia

Year: 2018

Prevention in Pieces: Representing Conflict in the Women, Peace and Security Agenda

Citation:

Basu, Soumita, and Laura J. Shepherd. 2018. "Prevention in Pieces: Representing Conflict in the Women, Peace and Security Agenda." Global Affairs 3(4-5): 441-453.

Authors: Soumita Basu, Laura J. Shepherd

Abstract:

The Women, Peace and Security agenda is often operationalized across three priority areas: the participation of women in peace and security governance; the protection of women’s rights and bodies (specifically, but not limited to, conflict-related sexual violence); and the prevention of conflict. In this short paper, we explore violence prevention in more detail, and argue that it is of critical importance to define conflict as well as prevention. We draw on the illustrative examples of Australia, the UK and India to explain how this definitional work happens within the machinery of the state and the networks of civil society. Understanding how conflict is theorized by different actors in different locations not only gives insight into the tendency towards militarization in the WPS agenda but also can be interpreted as a manifestation of contestation over ownership of the WPS agenda and its location between the state and civil society.

Keywords: women, peace and security, UNSCR 1325, National Action Plans

Topics: Civil Society, Conflict Prevention, Gender, Women, Conflict, Peace and Security, Governance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Sexual Violence, SV against women, Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia, Europe, Northern Europe, Oceania Countries: Australia, India, United Kingdom

Year: 2018

Engaging UNSCR 1325 through Australia’s National Action Plan

Citation:

Lee-Koo, Katrina. 2016. “Engaging UNSCR 1325 through Australia’s National Action Plan.” International Political Science Review 37 (3): 336-49.

Author: Katrina Lee-Koo

Abstract:

This article examines Australia’s National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) within the context of global debates on the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and its associated resolutions. It demonstrates that Australia has made a strong rhetorical commitment to the United Nations WPS agenda that aligns itself with global feminist goals to enhance the protection and political participation of women in conflict-affected regions. Rhetorically, Australia also supports a broad conceptualisation of global security that challenges the gender relations that create women’s insecurity. However, these words fail the test of practice. The 2012 Australian NAP lacks the architecture to ensure strong, consistent, and comprehensive action on the WPS agenda. This article explores the sites of these failures and argues that addressing these issues is the first necessary step towards reconnecting government rhetoric with WPS outcomes.

Keywords: Australia, National Action Plan, UNSCR 1325, global security

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Conflict, Peace and Security, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Oceania Countries: Australia

Year: 2016

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