Masculinities in older men: a qualitative study in the West of Scotland

Carol Emslie, Kate Hunt, Rosaleen O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the recent interest in multiple “masculinities,” previous research has either ignored older men or implicitly treated them as without gender. In order to fill this gap in the literature, we conducted semi-structured interviews with men born in the early 1930s living in the west of Scotland. Disruptions to individual biographies (due to the illness or death of a spouse or loss of their job through redundancy) forced men to re-evaluate previously taken-for-granted attitudes to gender roles. Social class trajectories were important in shaping men's attitudes to paid work and gender roles; for example, men who were upwardly mobile were most egalitarian about the gendered division of labor in the household. More privileged men also constructed masculinity differently from less privileged men. Our findings suggest that more attention should be paid to the variety of ways in which older men “do” gender
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-226
Journal Journal of Men's Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2004


  • masculinities
  • West of Scotland
  • gender differences
  • male attitudes


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