University of Oxford
Markham, S & Hanna, E (2023) Shed Talk - Discourses of Men and Masculinities in the Context of Men’s Sheds IN Brookes & Chałupnik Masculinities and Discourses of Men’s Health.pdf (493.65 kB)

Shed Talk: Discourses of Men and Masculinities in the Context of Men’s Sheds

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posted on 2024-02-23, 12:12 authored by Steven MarkhamSteven Markham, Hanna, Esmée

This chapter discusses the language and discourse of participants of UK men’s sheds. Men’s sheds are community-based venues, welcoming male participants to engage in manual work and to socialise with peers. They contain space, machinery, tools and materials to facilitate meaningful occupation with wood, metal, electrical and/or mechanical items. Whilst often attracted to the physical resources men’s sheds offer, subsidiary benefits of participation include social interaction, learning, improved mood, enhanced well-being and increased confidence.

Discourses were captured as part of data generated for an investigation to elucidate how and why men’s sheds maintain and enhance participant health and wellbeing. Secondary analysis of data from three men’s sheds explores ways in which men communicate in these ‘gender sensitive’ environments. Through this exploration, the chapter exemplifies different interpretations of language and demonstrates the importance of understanding contexts of speaker’s background, socialisation, and turns of phrase, when considering men’s meaning. Hegemonic interpretations or gender normative assumptions could be constructed from the discourses. However, understanding the way men talk, and their intentions and meanings illuminates the current importance of gender sensitive interventions and how their importance might diminish for future generations of men.


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