Whither Critical Masculinity Studies? Notes on Inclusive Masculinity Theory, Postfeminism, and Sexual Politics

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Inclusive masculinity theory has recently been proposed as a new approach to theo- rizing contemporary masculinities. Focusing particularly on the work of the theory’s key exponent, Eric Anderson, this article offers a critical reading of inclusive masculinity theory in relation to the context of contemporary postfeminism. Building on feminist scholarship that analyzes the emergence of a distinctive postfeminist sensibility within the academy, I consider how inclusive masculinity theory both reflects and reproduces certain logics of postfeminism. My central concern is the manner in which this scho- larship deemphasizes key issues of sexual politics and promotes a discourse of optimism about men, masculinities, and social change. Against this view, I argue that critical masculinity studies must foreground the analysis of gendered power relations and posit that the interrogation of contemporary postfeminism is critical to this endeavor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-120
Number of pages21
JournalMen and Masculinities
Issue number1
Early online date2 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

This article was published as a result of research undertaken while I was a PhD candidate at King's College London.


  • masculinity studies
  • inclusive masculinity theory
  • postfeminism
  • sexual politics
  • social change

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