Discipline of Sociology & Criminology Seminar Series 2023 | Caring masculinities at the intersection of race, ethnicity, and class | Riikka Prattes
Discipline of Sociology & Criminology Seminar Series:
Caring masculinities at the intersection of race, ethnicity, and class
Riikka Prattes (Monash University)
Join via Zoom: Email Leah Williams Veazey for link and more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: Caring masculinities, as explored by Elliott (2015), interweaves feminist care ethics with research on men and masculinities to investigate masculinities that offer a very different subject position for men to the one offered by the hegemonic norm. Elliott’s consideration of the concept rests on two pillars: embracing care and rejecting domination. Much work within critical studies on men and masculinities that engages with masculinities and care focuses on care yet sidelines non-domination. While the question of which men care is, in theory, an open one, most research in the field to date on the topic has focused on white, middle-class men in the Global North who carry out care work (often childcare). This narrow focus on a very specific masculine caring subject (and on only particular caring practices) risks calcifying the concept of caring masculinities as one attached to privileged men of the Global North. Elliott and Roberts have previously highlighted a class-based bias in the literature on men and care, while I have emphasized racist tendencies in the field that solidify caring masculinities as a white concept. Furthermore, much research, particularly from the Global South, has countered the idea that caring masculinity is the preserve of privileged men only. Building on this research, I will discuss findings from an ongoing study (conducted together with Elliott and Roberts) that examines the experiences of marginalized men undertaking low-paid care work in Australia in roles such as personal care assistants and disability carers. Exploring the men’s successes and challenges in this care work, I also connect their experiences back to a concept of caring masculinities that recognizes care carried out by more marginalized groups in society as well.
Bio: Riikka Prattes is a Research Fellow at the School of Education, Culture and Society at Monash University. Riikka is an internationally recognized scholar in research on men and masculinities, as well as feminist care ethics. Her work sits at the intersection of gender studies, and work on care, and engages with feminist and social epistemologies and decolonial theory. Currently, Riikka works on the Australian Research Council funded project “Addressing the Deficit in Men’s Participation in Paid Care Work” with colleagues Karla Elliott and Steven Roberts. Riikka joined Monash in 2023, after positions as Postdoctoral Research Associate at Duke University’s program in Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies, and a Visiting Research Fellowship at Paris Lodron University Salzburg.
Riikka is a founding member and currently serves on the advisory board of the Revaluing Care in the Global Economy (RGCE) network that is based at Duke University. You can find some of the RCGE network’s previous events here.