An international network of researchers on men’s realities
In recent years, research groups on men and masculinities have proliferated around so that we can now find researchers working on a variety of topics related to men's realities in many countries. However, researchers remain isolated and groups that exist are located in a specific country or region or confined to a single theme. It is in this context that was born the project of creating an international network of researchers on men's realities.
Origins of the project
The project to establish an international network of researchers on the realities of men was created on the initiative of a member of the team Masculinities and Society, Dr. Gilles Tremblay, as recommended by international colleagues. His recent sabbatical year and regular participation in international conferences have enabled him to establish strong links with researchers on men's realities in different countries. Given the interest of many researchers to create links worldwide, today’s context is ideal for the creation of an international network of researchers in the studies on men and masculinities. Also, to do this, Masculinities and Society had the expertise to conduct this innovative project especially as, politically speaking, Quebec enjoys an excellent reputation to play an unifying role. In short, based on its leadership in Quebec and its place on the international level, the research team M & S expects to complete such a project
In the current context of globalization and considering the significant changes that characterize the production of knowledge, the internationalization of research is now unavoidable. Funding agencies in Quebec and Canada also recognize more the need to help Canadian researchers to establish and further develop international research collaborations to advance research in Quebec and Canada. According to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2006), "international collaboration is essential to access the global pool of knowledge and expertise, especially for a medium-sized country like Canada. It is also essential because it brings different research perspectives to national issues and key international. Moreover, in order to adequately address global, large, complex and interconnected issues, researchers must increase pool resources and expertise to the world "(p.2). It is in this context that the Ministry of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade and the Ministry of Health and Social Services of Quebec have agreed to fund a first project to lay the groundwork for such a network.
Why an international network?
The creation of an international network of researchers in the field of studies on men and masculinities is essential and will allow both a better knowledge sharing and transfer of expertise in terms of research and intervention. These exchanges will favor the creation of new knowledge to improve our capacity for research and intervention. This knowledge will also improve the health and life of the population and thereby reduce the economic burden caused by costs related to diseases and social problems affecting society and men in particular. Everyone agrees that much remains to be done to better understand how the difficulties experienced by men combine not only to gender but also to aspects related to age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, etc.. A better understanding of these phenomena should help to ensure the effectiveness of interventions to achieve. Clearly, the problem is urgent and needs to be given due attention. Thus, sharing of expertise on international help to mark important advances in the field.
Current members of the international network project
Initially, the project brings together researchers from nine countries on several continents. These researchers were selected based on criteria of MDEIE and the leadership they assume in their respective country. They are:
- For Australia: Dr John Macdonald, University of Western Sydney (http://pubapps.uws.edu.au/expert/expert_details.php?eid=129)
- For the United Kingdom: Dr Steven Robertson, Leeds Met University http://www.leedsmet.ac.uk/health/research_79283F3398A343FB91BD3352641(CAD70.htm)
- For France: Dr Christine Castelain-Meunier Centre d’analyse et d’intervention sociologique (CADIS) (http://www.ehess.fr/cadis/francais/pages/chercheurs/pres-castelain.htmlet) and Dr Daniel Welzer-Lang, Université Toulouse-Le Mirail (http://w3.cers.univ-tlse2.fr/annuaires/fiches_indivi/permanents/Daniel_Welzer_Lang.htm)
- For USA: Dr Michael Addis, Clark University (http://www.clarku.edu/academiccatalog/facultybio.cfm?id=92) and Dr Robert Heasley, Indiana State University of Pennsylvania (http://www.chss.iup.edu/sociology/Faculty/HEASLEY.HTML)
- For South Africa: Dr Robert Morrel and Dr Suren Pilay, University of Western Cape
- For India: Dr Sanjay Singh of MG Kashi Vidyapath Universitet and Dr Radhika Chopra of the University of Delhi (http://www.du.ac.in/faculty_member_details.htm?id=238)
- For Mexico: Dr Juan Carlos Ramirez Rodriguez, Universidad de Guadalajara
- For Brazil: Gary Barker of the international organization MenEngage (http://www.icrw.org/html/about/staffbios/Garry-T-Barker.html)
- For English Canada: Dr John Olliffe, University of British Columbia (http://www.nursing.ubc.ca/Faculty/biopage.aspx?c=73.109506905737)
- And to represent M & S research team in Quebec: Dr Jocelyn Lindsay (http://www.svs.ulaval.ca/personnel/pages/lindsay_j.html) and Dr Gilles Tremblay, Laval University http://www.svs.ulaval.ca/personnel/pages/tremblay_g.html)
Considering the complexity of studies on men's realities, we recognize the need for a variety of theoretical approaches, disciplines, methodologies, and discursive practices. In addition, we design research as a dynamic process, rooted in the mutual needs of communities of practice and research to develop knowledge and practice.
Although research has marked significant progress, a growing amount of criticism concerning the aspect of "pathogenic" of several approaches has emerged in the last few years. It appears a more and more willingness to address these critical issues in a more positive view of men and masculinities. Thus, it is clearly a need for further thinking on men and masculinities both theoretically and in terms of intervention practices, practices which have proliferated in recent years.
Here are some guiding principles for the development of our network. These principles have been already been submitted to establish a consensus, but they need to be refined.
1. Creating a participatory space: Different concerns challenge the members of the network, including all stakeholders contributing concretely to the development and operation of the structure. We want the establishment of a democratic leadership that enhances decision making by a broader consensus.
2. Pro-feminist position, complementing the work on gender, and also in connection with particular studies on the cultural, sexual diversities and indigenous nations: A second concern is to achieve a network that is complementary with what was made on the women's side. While the variability of ideologies is well demonstrated in field of studies on the men and masculinities (cf. Clatterbaugh, 1997), the absence of a formal network that is positioned so progressive and positive leaves any room for consolidation antimasculinist or antifeminist groups. In this regard, we believe that the proposed network should immediately adopt a liberal pro-feminist stance with an approach that recognizes diversities according to ethnicity, sexual orientation, social class, capacities, etc. It might help to bridge this lack of visibility, both locally and globally, of a progressive discourse on boys and men.
3. Support and development of the next generation of scientists: we attach importance to involve new researchers and experienced researchers. In this sense, the development of a future network should facilitate the involvement of graduate students.
4. Interdisciplinary collaboration: The use of different theoretical and methodological approaches and the contribution of several disciplines seem indispensable. It does not take a single perspective, but to convey openness and a spirit of inquiry.
5. Dissemination of knowledge, particularly in practice settings: The active involvement of partners from the practice fosters great relevance and implications for practice. Such research allows researchers to remain close to the concerns of practice, while the partners have rapidly expanded knowledge. Of course, that does not recognize the important studies in basic research that contributes, among others, development of theoretical knowledge of certain realities faced by boys and men.