(R)evolving masculinities in times of change amongst small-scale fishers in North Wales

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Abstract

Whilst fishing men have commonly been investigated through the lens of ‘hegemonic masculinity’, recent studies have highlighted a potential change and nuancing of such fishing masculinities. Inspired by the call to pay attention to masculinities as fluid, contextual and interpersonal, this paper pays attention to scalar, placed and temporal specificities to consider how ‘socially-dominant masculinities’ can develop (and persist) in specific contexts. A case study of the North Wales Llŷn peninsula fishery is drawn upon in examining how local practices (re)define what it means to be a man in this area. The paper highlights the continued importance of the physicality of fishing in shaping locally socially-dominant masculinities–noting how fisher’s bodies are not only central to masculine performances but also embody their fishing history and their relative positioning in their locality. It considers the relational nature of fishing masculinities –noting how masculinity is written both spatially in relation to practices ‘on land’ and ‘at sea’ and also temporally through reference to both past practices and predecessors. Finally, the paper considers changes to fishing masculinities, especially associated with family life and changing economic contexts, noting how such new practices may be incorporated into longer-standing aspects of fishing masculinity.

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Gustavsson, M., & Riley, M. (2020). (R)evolving masculinities in times of change amongst small-scale fishers in North Wales. Gender, Place and Culture, 27(2), 196–217. https://doi.org/10.1080/0966369X.2019.1609914

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