CFP: „Making it like a man“: men, masculinities and the modern ‚career‘ – Helsinki 25.10.18

CFP: „Making it like a man“: men, masculinities and the modern ‚career‘

University of Helsinki
25.10.2018, Helsinki
Deadline: 30.06.2018

Recent critical representations of the workplace seem to leave little
doubt about its gendered norms and conventions. Glass ceilings, the
gender pay gap, leaky pipelines, old boys‘ networks, calls for women to
lean in (not to mention recurring reports of gendered harassment) all
point to an assumption of male homosociability as an enduring norm in
21st century ‚work‘.

Based on an ‚industrial‘ separation of spheres relegating women to the
hearth while leaving men the freedom to move between the domestic and
public (Tosh, 1999) and gendered narratives of entrepreneurship and
social climbing mired in aggression (Kelly, 2003; Tjeder, 2002),
understandings of the workplace as culturally, discursively and indeed
legally coded masculine as well as an implicit masculine embodiment of
‚work‘ (McGinley, 2016; Acker 1990) are now questioned and criticized by
media-discourse, critical research, and by daily practice.

Noting that the workplace remains largely implicitly masculine, though
politically pertinent, does little to elucidate how masculinity and
careers are connected, how workers do masculinity and how masculinity
does cultural work for the reproduction and/or contestation of
(post)industrialism, capitalism and neo-liberalism. It also fails to
take into account the range of masculinities ‚at work‘ and the diversity
of social, cultural and professional contexts in which they take shape.

In this conference, we aim to focus on the multiple and diverse
masculinities ‚at work‘ in the processes of professionalization and
career management that typify modern working life. Spanning both
historical approaches to the rise of ‚profession‘ as a marker of
masculinity, and critical approaches to the current structures of
management, employment and workplace hierarchy, we set out to question
what role masculinity plays in cultural understandings, affective
experiences and mediatized representations of a professional ‚career‘.

We welcome contributions from all disciplines in the social sciences and
humanities on subjects such as:

  • Men and masculinities as markers of a career in specific professional
    fields (e.g. political, artistic, academic, legal, etc. careers)
  • Men and masculinities in the historical development of the notion of
  • The hierarchical nature of careers and career management and its
    links/tensions with modern masculinities
  • Men and masculinities and the gendered nature of careers in the
    capitalist or neo-liberal workplace
  • Daily practices of career-management and its intersection with
    practices of gender, particularly with doing masculinity
  • Men, masculinities and intersectionality in relation to careers in a
    global context and globalized world: international mobilities and
    intercultural Exchange
  • Men, masculinities and precarity in relation to professional careers
  • Intersectional approaches to men and masculinities, taking stock of
    geographical and cultural understandings of careers and their gendered
  • The changing notion of ‚career‘ in modern times and ways in which new
    conceptualizations of ‚career‘ are shaping masculinities and are in turn
    shaped by changing masculinities (for example, online careers divorced
    from workplaces as physical sites etc.)
  • Rethinking and/or mobilizing men and masculinities in critical
    approaches to move towards gender equality in career building and
  • New approaches to work and careers which have the potential to
    challenge traditional ways of doing masculinity and/or rethink careers
    in terms of masculinities.Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be uploaded at by June 30,

    There is no participation fee

    For more information, please contact: ,, or


    Unioninkatu 38
    00014 University of Helsinki

    Link to the CfP <>

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