There is probably no one who has had as big an impact on understandings of men and masculinities as Professor Raewyn Connell. She is one of the founders of this field of research, and has written what is perhaps its key text, the 1995 book ‘Masculinities’, in which she developed her hugely influential concept of hegemonic masculinity. Raewyn has also written and researched on a range of other issues in addition to gender and sexuality, from ‘Southern Theory’, to class, neoliberalism, education, and the politics of intellectual life. Now Professor Emerita at the University of Sydney, she recently received the International Sociological Association's Award for Excellence in Research and Practice, in recognition of her enormous contribution to social science.
It was therefore a huge privilege to talk to Raewyn for this episode of Now and Men. We discuss her views on everything from Russia’s horrifying war on Ukraine, to the Covid-19 pandemic, to some of her earliest research with young men and its relevance to today, to the environmental movement, to her own life history and the experiences of trans women (and other trans groups). Raewyn is also a published poet, and she kindly shares one of her poems with us at the end of the episode.
You can find out much more about the wealth of work Raewyn has done on her personal website, http://www.raewynconnell.net. Her most recent book is called ‘The Good University: What Universities Actually Do and Why It’s Time for Radical Change’, which was published by Zed Books in 2019: https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/good-university-9781786995407/. She also recently wrote an article about this topic for The Conversation: https://theconversation.com/remaking-universities-notes-from-the-sidelines-of-catastrophe-175920
- The 2nd edition of the book ‘Masculinities’ was published in 2005 by Routledge: https://www.routledge.com/Masculinities/Connell/p/book/9781741145199
- The 4th edition of the book ‘Gender: In World Perspective’ was published by Polity in 2020: https://www.politybooks.com/bookdetail?book_slug=gender-in-world-perspective-4th-edition--9781509538997
- The book ‘Southern Theory: Social Science and the Global Dynamics of Knowledge’ was published by Polity in 2007: https://www.politybooks.com/bookdetail?book_slug=southern-theory-social-science-and-the-global-dynamics-of-knowledge--9780745642482
- The book ‘Making the Difference: Schools, Families and Social Division’, was published by Routledge in 1982: https://www.routledge.com/Making-the-Difference-Schools-families-and-social-division/Connell/p/book/9780868611327. Raewyn also wrote an article about it in 2010 – ‘Making the Difference, Then and Now’: https://doi.org/10.1080/0159630022000029812
- Raewyn wrote an article about the climate crisis called ‘Masculinities in the Sociocene’ in 2017: https://www.jstor.org/stable/26241448
- ‘Boys in Zinc’ by Nobel prize-winner Svetlana Alexievich (Penguin, 2017) - stories from the Soviet-Afghan War: https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/295/295485/boys-in-zinc/9780241264119.html
- Attempts in Texas to open ‘child abuse’ investigations into parents who pursue gender-affirming surgeries and medical care for trans children: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/mar/01/lawsuit-aims-to-block-texas-investigating-parents-seeking-care-trans-children
- We mention 2 books by Prof Lynne Segal: ‘Out of Time: The Pleasures and the Perils of Ageing‘ (Verso, 2014): https://www.versobooks.com/books/1634-out-of-time and ‘Slow Motion: Changing Masculinities, Changing Men’ (3rd edition, Palgrave, 2007): https://link.springer.com/book/10.1057/9780230582521