The ways gender roles are understood and experienced has changed radically over the last century. While a simple, fixed masculine-feminine binary was once taken for granted, gender is now widely agreed to be a more complex and diverse experience for many. We have seen traditional, orthodox ways of being masculine in Western cultures being challenged by feminism and gay and civil rights movements. And just as more inclusive, emotionally sensitive ways of being masculine are emerging, we are also seeing resistance to change exemplified in the rise of social frameworks that valorise traditional masculine norms of self-reliance, winners-and-losers and homogeneity over diversity.
In these turbulent times for gender politics in general and masculinities in particular, we explore two key contexts in which gender roles are developed, understood and performed for men: at home and at work. Dr Beattie explores contemporary cultural and psychological dilemmas for men in these private and public spheres and considers how these may inform the therapeutic process and content. The aim is to build an affirmative therapeutic practice, both for working with men as well as with clients dealing with issues that affect the men in their lives.