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The case for some men's spaces

By Annette Foley


My intention in this chapter is to address what could be seen as some tensions associated with the importance and value of gendered spaces in particular contexts. The gendered spaces that I refer to are those such as men’s sheds, where older men can come together and develop friend-ships, form community bonds, share life experiences and skills and, as a consequence, attain health benefits that have direct and positive impacts on their families and their communities (Golding et al., 2007). This chapter will put forward the case that in certain circumstances there is room for the existence and support of community gendered spaces for men that have the capacity to develop capabilities for individual agency (Sen, 1992).I write this chapter with some reservations about what Rowan et al. (2002, p. 5) describe as the ‘dangerous or hostile terrain’ of gendered masculine spaces, with the associated concerns from some commenta-tors that research which identifies men’s disadvantage might take the focus off funding or support for programmes which address women’s disadvantage, in terms of women’s participation in – and outcomes from – education and training more broadly (Golding, Foley and Brown, 2008). For this purpose, I want to clear some ground by clarifying the intentions of the chapter and, by doing so, dispel some of the tensions around this argument. ..."From introduction

Topics: Adult education, Continuing education
Publisher: NIACE
Year: 2014
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