The Return of Nature: Feminism, Hegemonic Masculinities, and New Materialisms


Garlick, Steve. 2019. “The Return of Nature: Feminism, Hegemonic Masculinities, and New Materialisms.” Men and Masculinities 22 (2): 380–403. 

Author: Steve Garlick


It has generally been taken for granted within the field of Critical Studies of Men and Masculinities (CSMM) that the object of attention and concern is to be found within “the social” and in opposition to naturalizing claims about gender. Nature is not entirely absent from CSMM, often appearing either as malleable material or as a stable basis for the social construction of bodies. In this article, however, I suggest that the time is ripe to develop new concepts of nature by drawing on new materialist theories that are increasingly influential within feminist theory. This move opens up the possibility of strengthening the connections between materialist traditions in CSMM and contemporary developments in feminist theory. This article proceeds by reviewing different forms of materialism within feminist theory and argues that new materialist theories offer insights that can benefit CSMM. In particular, I argue that the theory of hegemonic masculinity needs to be expanded beyond the framework of patriarchy and recast in relation to the place of nature in the complex ecology of human social relations. 

Keywords: nature, ecofeminism, new materialism, complexity theory, hegemonic masculinity

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy

Year: 2019

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