Publication Details

Donaldson, M, Labouring Men: Love, Sex and Strife, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Sociology, 23(2), 1987, 165-184.


Studies of masculinity and studies of class are incomplete unless they take each other seriously. This article explores the interrelations between class situation and experience, paid work, the family-household, masculinity and male heterosexuality as they are borne and reproduced by labouring men. Against the psycho¬logisation of the 'men's liberationists' this article insists on the salience of structure. It suggests that the working class, of which labouring men are a small part, can be understood in its strategic power and weaknesses only through the study of the whole lives of its members, changing and changed by each other as they stand in contradiction to capital, its forces and agencies. The article is based on personal accounts by about forty labouring men. It relies on and attempts to draw together within an historical materialist framework insights from the sociologies of the labour process and the working class, studies of masculinity and Marxist feminism.



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