Real men, real violence: Critical realism and the search for the masculine subject

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Across the West, men and masculinity are under scrutiny as much as they are in revolt. Donald Trump recently led the movement (at least symbolically) of recuperative white men massing across western democracies rallying against diversity, lamenting a lost culture, and demonising others as agents of disintegration amongst our communities. Fascism and right-wing forces are on the rise across the globe, a movement that reifies white masculinities and their predicate of survival of the fittest and extinction of the weak. The #MeToo movement has called out some men’s predatory behaviours in the media professions, and our major institutions like the Police and the Military have faced organisational challenges to their gender orders. As I write, the predatory masculinities of some Australian male parliamentarians, their staff, and their cultures are under intense scrutiny after the now former Attorney General was accused of the alleged rape of a childhood acquaintance. Beyond these actualities the broader question stared back at me: how can we understand and reduce men’s use of violence on the streets, against their families and upon themselves? How can we change the way men and the culturally produced masculinities embody violence from the local to the global? To do this I turned to critical realism to reassess what the journal-based literature had talked about these things so far...
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWorking with Critical Realism
Subtitle of host publicationStories of Methodological Encounters
EditorsAlpesh Maisuria, Grant Banfield
PublisherTaylor and Francis - Balkema
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-003-19378-4
ISBN (Print)978-1-032-04561-0, 978-1-032-04563-4
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in Critical Realism


  • Violence
  • Masculinities
  • Male violence
  • Violence prevention


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