As numerous studies have shown, modern social reality imposes multiple complex and contradictory demands upon both men and women. The first decade of the new century has seen the creation of new challenges that have an impact on gender relations. The range of possible models for masculinity has broadened; it has become more difficult to fulfil the traditional “male duties” of a protector and breadwinner. On the one hand, we are seeing indications pointing to a neo-patriarchy, a revival of a traditionalist, conservative ideology that emphasizes the dominant role of men both in society and within the family. On the other hand, there are whole groups of young women who are growing more active and independent; these women are ready to compete with men on the labour market and are seeking relationships based on equality in the private sphere, undermining the foundations of traditional masculinity.
At the conference, participants will discuss the various kinds of modern masculinity, the scope for choosing among them, their status hierarchy and the impacts that class, ethnicity, migration factors and inter-generational differences have on masculinity. Our interest will be directed in particular at the contradictions within normative scenarios of masculinity, at the sources of male stress, and at the conflicts among the various kinds of masculinity and at their political, demographic, ideological, cultural consequences. Another important focus will be on the connections between various types of masculinity and the state and state ideology: What is supported, what is marginalized, what is directly suppressed?