Accepted paper:

Creating proper men: uncertain masculinities, embodiment and agency in the West Bank

Author:

Maria Frederika Malmström (Lund University / Columbia University)

Paper short abstract:

This talk will discuss constructions of uncertain masculinities among male Hamas youths in the West Bank in a complex interplay of violence, political Islam, suffering and loss. It will highlight the importance of analyzing the body in such processes - both as agential and as victimized.

Paper long abstract:

In this talk, Dr. Malmström will discuss constructions of gender, embodiment and agency among male Hamas youths in the West Bank through the prism of violence. She will highlight the importance of analyzing the body in such processes - both as agential and as victimized. To be able to move away from the sensationalist Western media that often portray Middle Eastern Muslim men as 'violent', and as terrorists, we need to understand the motivations and the meanings of violence. This talk will discuss constructions of uncertain masculinities in a complex interplay of violence, political Islam, suffering and loss. The method of analysis is to use a discourse-centered approach and to use experience-near ethnography that begins with men's own practices and attends to how they understand themselves, how their bodies are involved, and how they live out norms and ideologies in their everyday lives. Thereby we are able to understand how men's realities and identities are interpreted, negotiated and constructed and how the body actively is involved in these processes. This approach is relevant since it is possible to analyze the singularity of experience, not only as a form of social interaction, but as linked to social structures and discourses, which implies negotiations of tensions, conflicts, and uncertainties.

panel W072
Masculinities in times of uncertainty and change