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Narratives of progress: cooking and gender equality among Swedish men
Uppsala University, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Social Work. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Uppsala University, Sweden.
2017 (English)In: Journal of Gender Studies, ISSN 0958-9236, E-ISSN 1465-3869, Vol. 26, no 2, 151-163 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Feminist food studies have repeatedly identified a dichotomy of masculine self-oriented cooking as leisure and feminine other and care-oriented foodwork (meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning up after meals). However, recent research suggests that there is a great deal of variety and contradiction in mens accounts of their cooking practices. For example, men may find cooking a tedious and stressful responsibility and foodwork a fatherly duty. This article draws on interviews with 31 Swedish men from 22 to 88years of age, and explores stories about cooking and foodwork as part of their everyday lives and their life transitions and how these relate to broader notions of food and gender equality. The data illuminating the mens stories can be synthesised into two narratives of progress: a narrative of progress in gender equality in Sweden, where mens participation in household labour has become taken for granted, and a narrative of culinary progress among Swedish men in general and among some of the interviewed men themselves. We agree with previous scholars who have argued for a reconsideration of the simplistic picture of mens cooking as only being for the self and for leisure. We further show how the men express foodwork as a self-evident responsibility, regardless of whether the men find it fun or not, and that a desirable masculinity is represented by a man whose cooking skills have progressed beyond the survival level and who is more gender equal than what are perceived to be less-progressive men from previous generations and foreign cultural backgrounds.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD , 2017. Vol. 26, no 2, 151-163 p.
Keyword [en]
Men; masculinities; foodwork; cooking; gender equality; progress narratives
National Category
Gender Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-137625DOI: 10.1080/09589236.2015.1090306ISI: 000399923500004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-137625DiVA: diva2:1097344
Available from: 2017-05-22 Created: 2017-05-22 Last updated: 2017-05-22

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf