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Ecological Masculinities: Theoretical Foundations and Practical Guidance


Hultman, Martin, and Paul Pulé. 2018. Ecological Masculinities: Theoretical Foundations and Practical Guidance. Abingdon: Routledge.

Authors: Martin Hultman, Paul Pulé


Around the globe, unfettered industrialisation has marched forth in unison with massive social inequities. Making matters worse, anthropogenic pressures on Earth’s living systems are causing alarming rates of thermal expansion, sea-level rise, biodiversity losses in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and a sixth mass extinction. As various disciplines have shown, rich white men in the Global North are the main (although not the only) perpetrators of this slow violence. This book demonstrates that industrial/breadwinner masculinities have come at terrible costs to the living planet and ecomodern masculinities have failed us as well, men included.
This book is dedicated to a third and relationally focused pathway that the authors call ecological masculinities. Here, they explore ways that masculinities can advocate and embody broader, deeper and wider care for the global through to local (‘glocal’) commons. Ecological Masculinities works with the wisdoms of four main streams of influence that have come before us. They are: masculinities politics, deep ecology, ecological feminism and feminist care theory. The authors work with profeminist approaches to the conceptualisations and embodiments of modern Western masculinities. From there, they introduce masculinities that give ADAM-n for Earth, others and self, striving to create a more just and ecologically viable planet for all of life.
This book is interdisciplinary. It is intended to reach (but is not restricted to) scholars exploring history, gender studies, material feminism, feminist care theory, ecological feminism, deep ecology, social ecology, environmental humanities, social sustainability, science and technology studies and philosophy. (Summary from Routledge) 
Table of Contents: 
Prologue: Separate Paths Towards A Common Future
1. Introduction: Interrogating Masculinities 
2. Masculine Ecologisation: From Industrial/Breadwinner and Ecomodern to Ecological Masculinities 
3. Men and Masculinities: A Spectrum of Views
4. Connecting Inner and Outer Nature: A Deeper Ecology for the Global North 
5. Lessons from Ecological Feminism
5. Caring for the 'Glocal' Commons 
6. Headwaters: Previous Research on Men, Masculinities and Earth 
7. Ecological Masculinities: Giving ADAM-n

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Masculinity/ies

Year: 2018

Natures of Masculinities: Conceptualising Industrial, Ecomodern and Ecological Masculinities


Hultman, Martin. 2017. “Natures of Masculinities: Conceptualising Industrial, Ecomodern and Ecological Masculinities.” In Understanding Climate Change through Gender Relations, edited by Susan Buckingham and Virginie Le Masson, 87-103. Abingdon: Routledge.

Author: Martin Hultman


“This chapter takes this knowledge to further conceptualise historically situated and contemporary enacted forms of masculinities in rich, western countries with high per capita emissions. It introduces the configurations of ‘industrial masculinities’, ‘ecological masculinities’ and ‘ecomodern masculinities’. I will discuss how industrial masculinities portray Nature as bits and pieces and work with it accordingly as well as how ecomodern masculinities are able to depict nature as alive and in need of care, but only if it fits with neoliberal market mechanisms and end-of-pipe technologies. Then, I discuss the possibility of ecological masculinities enacted with care, interconnectedness and the need for small-scale and localization of resources. These configurations of masculinities display the entanglements of discourses in actors, and of actors in discourses of contemporary environmental politics. Exploring different configurations of masculinities might shed further light on how gender identities are constructed. In so doing, this text both elaborates on new concepts of masculinities and broadens our understanding of material cultural formations in the present form of global politics” (Hultman 2017, 87).

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Political Economies

Year: 2017

Exploring Industrial, Ecomodern, and Ecological Masculinities


Hultman, Martin. 2017. “Exploring Industrial, Ecomodern, and Ecological Masculinities.” In Routledge Handbook of Gender and Environment, edited by Sherilyn MacGregor, 239-53. London: Routledge.

Author: Martin Hultman


“This chapter introduces, and endeavours to situate historically, the study of masculinities in environmental politics. I discuss three concepts – ‘industrial masculinities’, ‘ecomodern masculinities’, and’ ecological masculinities’ – and illustrate them by drawing on findings from empirical research that I have developed at length elsewhere (Hultman 2013, 2014b, 2015; Anshelm and Hultman 2014a; Hultman and Pulé forthcoming). Examples from the discourse of climate change scepticism in the United States and Sweden, from mainstream American politics, and from sustainable transitions in New Zealand provide insights into how different forms of masculinities are performed against the backdrop of political, social, and environmental change. This empirical research enables me to theorize how three distinct discourses have been co-constructed with figurations (or types) of masculinities that have developed within environmental politics. Exploring these different figurations and their discursive construction opens up space for further research on how masculinities shape and are shaped by environmental politics” (Hultman 2017, 239). 

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Masculinity/ies

Year: 2017

The Making of an Environmental Hero: A History of Ecomodern Masculinity, Fuel Cells and Arnold Schwarzenegger


Hultman, Martin. 2013. “The Making of an Environmental Hero: A History of Ecomodern Masculinity, Fuel Cells and Arnold Schwarzenegger.” Environmental Humanities 2 (1): 79–99.

Author: Martin Hultman


In 2007, Arnold Schwarzenegger received the European Campaigner of the Year award. Chosen by the readers of European Voice for his work on solving global environmental problems, he was hailed as a visionary environmental hero, at the pinnacle of his popularity as a politician. In Sweden the public was told to follow his lead and politicians were advised to learn from his example. How could this happen? How could Schwarzenegger be portrayed as an environmental role model, even in countries such as Sweden, a country known around the world for progressive policies in gender equality and the environment? This paper introduces and investigates the notion of ‘ecomodern masculinity,’ through the assemblage of Schwarzenegger's gender identity, environmental politics, and image in Sweden. While there has been research on gender inequity in relation to environmental and developmental goals, there has been little concern with constructions of how shifting hegemonic masculinity is embedded in environmental policy. As former California governor, actor, and Mr. Universe, Schwarzenegger's connection to the ecomodern politics that he prescribed is researched within a framework combining insights from the fields of gender and environmental studies. Ecomodern environmental politics and Kindergarten Commando masculinity are understood as attempts to incorporate and deflect criticism in order to perpetuate hegemony, to ensure that practices remain in effect, ‘business as usual.’ By looking at the historical changes in Schwarzenegger's identity intertwined with the rise of ecomodern discourse, this article illustrates those changes and broadens our understanding of global politics in the fields of energy and the environment.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality

Year: 2013

Man-of-Action Heroes: The Pursuit of Heroic Masculinity in Everyday Consumption


Holt, Douglas B., and Craig J. Thompson. 2004. “Man-of-Action Heroes: The Pursuit of Heroic Masculinity in Everyday Consumption.” Journal of Consumer Research 31 (2): 425–40.

Authors: Douglas B. Holt, Craig J. Thompson


We develop a model describing how certain American men, those men who have been described as emasculated by recent socioeconomic changes, construct themselves as masculine through their everyday consumption. We find that American mass culture idealizes the man‐of‐action hero—an idealized model of manhood that resolves the inherent weaknesses in two other prominent models (the breadwinner and the rebel). The men we studied drew from this three‐part discourse—what we call the ideology of heroic masculinity—to construct themselves in dramatic fashion as man‐of‐action heroes. In addition, we show that these men pursue heroic masculinity in very different ways, depending on their social class positions.

Topics: Class, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2004

Rural Masculinities in Tension: Barriers to Climate Change Adaptation in Nicaragua


Gonda, Noémi. 2017. “Rural Masculinities in Tension: Barriers to Climate Change Adaptation in Nicaragua.” RCC Perspectives: Transformations in Environment and Society, no. 4, 69–76.

Author: Noémi Gonda


Noémi Gonda explores the role of the masculine figure of the cattle rancher in local explorations of climate change adaptation in Nicaragua. Cattle ranchers generally refuse to take part in local projects that encourage cocoa production because it jeopardizes the traditional normative rural masculinity associated with cattle ranchers. Using a case study in El Pijibay, Gonda argues that many climate change projects fail because they do not take the rural population’s gendered subjectivities into account. Instead, these failed projects reinforce both existing inequalities and their intersection with environmental degradation. (Summary from Environment & Society Portal)

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Nicaragua

Year: 2017

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

Towards New EcoMasculinities, EcoGenders, and EcoSexualities


Gaard, Greta. 2014. “Towards New EcoMasculinities, EcoGenders, and EcoSexualities.” In Ecofeminism: Feminist Intersections with Other Animals and the Earth, edited by Carol J. Adams and Lori Gruen, 225–39. New York: Bloomsbury Publishing.

Author: Greta Gaard


“Are there masculinities that could be consistent with ecofeminist praxis? From years of organizing through the ‘chain of radical equivalences’ among social movement actors, advocated by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe (1985) as crucial to the formation of a radically democratic social movement, eco-justice activists and scholars have learned the value of deconstructing the role of the Dominant Master Self, and providing a location for even those constructed as dominant (whether via race, gender, class, sexuality, or nationality) to embrace a radically ecological vision and stand with—rather than on top of—the earth’s oppressed majorities. For any egalitarian socioeconomic and eco-political transformation, such as that advocated by ecofeminism to be possible, both individuals and institutions need to shift away from overvaluing exclusively white, male, and masculinized attributes and behaviors, jobs, environments, economic practices, laws and political practices, in order to recognize and enact eco-political sustainability and ecological genders” (Gaard 2014, 225).

Topics: Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Justice

Year: 2014

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


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


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


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

Author: Margaret Alston


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


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