Sweating bodies: Men, masculinities, affect, emotion



Publication Details

Waitt, G. & Stanes, E. (2015). Sweating bodies: Men, masculinities, affect, emotion. Geoforum, 59 30-38.


This paper investigates sweat to deepen theoretical understandings of how gender is lived. To do so we adopt a visceral approach that opens possibilities of thinking geographically about the affective ties and emotional bonds of sweat to engage with feminist logics of embodiment. Our interest is in what sweaty bodies can 'do'. Attention is given to the way that affects, emotions and sensations associated with being sweaty, smelling sweat, as well as touching one's own sweat, and that of others, provides insights into the gendered lives of people as they move through different context. Our analysis of how gendered is lived through sweaty bodies draws on 'Summer Living' narratives of 17 participants who understand themselves as men and live in Wollongong, a city of around 280,000 people on the east coast of New South Wales, Australia. We illustrate the theoretical significance of thinking about sweat for gender and geography by discussing the ambiguity, proximity and collectivity of sweaty bodies; and, the fragility, multiplicity and vitality of sweaty bodies. To conclude we outline how a visceral approach provides possibilities to improve household sustainability policies.

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