In a rapidly evolving social world, masculinity is increasingly being viewed as a disparate and fluid aspect of social life. Ideas around ‘hegemonic masculinity’ (Connell, 1995), i.e. that men need to be tough, in control and emotionally resilient still persist, and can be viewed as ‘hindrance’ to some aspects of men’s lives, particularly around help seeking for sensitive or personal issues, such as mental health. Understanding hegemonic masculinity however can give us insight into how best men can be supported to seek help for health related issues, how hegemonic masculinity can in fact be used to men’s advantage in some health avenues, and where society still needs to work to break down perceptions about what ‘real men’ are.
As scholarship around masculinities continues to flourish, we see understandings of men’s experiences in highly personal or sensitive realms, the significance men attach to fatherhood and how contemporary men are pushing boundaries around what men can/can’t do, or should or shouldn’t do.
The Huffington Post during November 2015 featured a series entitled, ‘Building modern men’ which celebrated the diversity of men’s experiences and aimed to push against some of the boundaries about what masculinity entails. In that vein, this library list features work from academics from at Leeds Beckett University, including the Centre for Men's Health, who are exploring, understanding and analysing features of contemporary masculinity, and the implications of this for men’s lives and their health and wellbeing.