Boys Don’t Cry and the Other Deleterious Effects of Toxic Masculinity
Originating Organisation or Projects
EIS Action Research Grants 2018-19
Submitted as part of assessment for MSc Social Justice and Community Action course “Community Engagement: Co-constructing Knowledge with Communities”
In order to combat this ‘depoliticization’ of the notion of community it is necessary to reframe it and re-politicise it to our advantage as social justice practitioners. As such, I intend on devising a community engagement programme around toxic masculinity, in particular how we can affect change on young men and boys.
The term ‘Toxic Masculinity’ is used to describe the harmful effects patriarchal norms have on society in general. As a further education lecturer and active member of my trade union branch, I find myself strategically placed to enact this kind of change and will be utilising a Participatory Action Research approach.
Firstly, I shall engage trade union members in the project so that there is a united approach to tackling the problem. If I am to fully engage in action research in this domain, Ledwith’s (2007, p. 608) suggestion that it needs to be “strategic and collective” means that both I and our members are perfectly placed to unlock its transformative potential by reclaiming this academic space for less powerful actors (Gaventa, 2006, p. 27).
There is an enhanced level of citizenship on behalf of our union members here too whereby collectivist cultures are seen as having higher levels of civic participation (Bee & Pachi, 2014, p. 106) and this increased engagement will only serve to benefit the aims and objectives of the trade union in the future.
This report offers initial insights and an activity framework for further research on the topic.