Accepted paper:

Gender Equitable Men: Creating Facts and Making up New Categories


Jeroen Lorist (University of Amsterdam)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores the ways that imaginaries of African men are assembled within global knowledge and development networks, with a focus on research and ideas related to the spaces where so-called 'positive masculinities' emerge, proliferate and translate into interventions.

Paper long abstract:

This paper examines how research and ideas regarding 'positive masculinities' and 'responsible fatherhood' emerge and proliferate among employees of a Dutch development organization, imagining and establishing itself as a frontrunner in the engagement of men in sexual, reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Arguments draw on organizational ethnography and analysis of discursive practices embedded in gender transformative training materials developed to engage African men via SRHR interventions. These ideas circulate within a Dutch-funded, globally distributed knowledge network, largely invisible to the men being fixed. Simultaneously, these power relations are hidden to the ones doing the fixing, unaware of how Dutch gender norms are mobilized to legitimize such (re-)ordering.

panel Anth09
Continuities and disruptions in 'doing fatherhood' in Africa