Research - Miscellaneous - Euro-Mediterranean region

Junior and senior researchers debate on masculinities and gender roles

31.08.2017 / Created by Ffeuromed
Junior and senior researchers debate on masculinities and gender roles

On the 29th and 30th of June, the Mediterranean House of Human Science, in Aix- en-Provence city in France, hosted a seminar on masculinities in the Euro-Mediterranean region. Marta Segarra, researcher and president of the University and Scientific Network on Women and Gender - RUSEMEG opened the seminar as organizer of the event. The ceremony was also attended by Karine Lambert, senior lecturer and historian of the University Sophia Antipolis of Nice.

The papers presented during the seminar were very good example of how the ideology of male roles was reinforced by various practices. For instance, André Rauch of the University of Strasbourg, suggested that the state of the “citizen body” or the compulsory military service, which, in the case of France, was established in 1880 to enforce the duty to defend homeland, give all the virtues to masculinity.

Meanwhile, Laurence Hérault approached the case of “Balkan sworn virgins from anthropological perspective, explaining how this status admitted to the Albanian "kanun" or law allowed families with no sons to maintain male roles within them. In her intervention, Fatma Oussedik highlighted the political figure of the "wali" in Algeria as a transposition of the father, noting that this figure is currently losing its authority, as fathers are in families.

Monia Lacheb and Gianfranco Rebucini focused on the difficulties of living homosexuality in the Maghreb, mainly in Tunisia and Morocco, tackling thus the hegemonic and subordinate masculinities, as well as images that characterize "masculinity". Finally, Mélanie Gourarier referred to the "male" men’s clubs that have multiplied in the last ten years in the United States and in some European cities.

Thanks to these contributions, it was possible to see how the gender vision in the 21st century is still strongly marked by a depreciation of the female "role". The evening of the first day of seminar was organized by Noura Raad, doctoral student in law at the University of Aix-Marseille. Saleh Hmida, a visual artist and researcher in aesthetics and science at the same university, was invited to present his work. On the evening of the seminar’s first day, Saleh Hmida, visual artist and aesthetic researcher was invited to present his work.  

On the second day, 12 students from Moroccan, Spanish, French, Algerian and Tunisian universities took part at doctoral workshops (3 Algerian PhD candidates were not able to attend this event because of visa issues). This session was one of the most interesting ones as it allowed PhD candidates and researchers in the field of gender to present their theses, to exchange thoughts and feedbacks with their supervisors, as most important to benefit of this opportunity for networking. The presentations were divided into three groups:

  • The Making of social sex relationships (3 PhD students)
  • Heteronormativity and status of women (4 doctoral students)
  • Transgression, alterity, marginalization, racialization (5 PhD students).

The PhD students, professors and academic associates’ contributions enriched this multidisciplinary and diverse session. Numerous research and educational centres have been represented at this seminar, such: the University of Barcelona with the Dona i Literatura Research Center; The Joint Research Unit for Time, Spaces, Languages, Southern Europe - Mediterranean and the GenderMed thematic network of the MMSH - Aix-Marseille University; The Center for Research in Applied Economics for Development and the University of Algiers; The Higher Institute of Sport and Physical Education of the University of Manouba (Tunisia), the School of Higher Studies in Social Sciences and the National Center for Scientific Research (France).  

The seminar ended with a session that aimed at bringing academia closer to associative activism, facilitated by several activists, including Sylvette Denefle of the Gender and Cultures Association; Karine Espineira of the Trans-European Observatory; Pinar Selek, feminist, antimilitarist, sociologist, and writer; And Geneviève Dermenjian of the Mediterranean Women Forum.  

The seminar was financially supported by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development (MAEDI) and is part of the project "Strengthening the capacities of the actors of equality" coordinated by the IEMed as well as the project "Developing Women’s Autonomy "labeled by the Union for the Mediterranean in synergy with the FFEM. You will find below the research themes of the doctoral students and the main conclusions of the seminar (in French).

 Attached below are the doctoral students’ researches themes and the main conclusions of the seminar (in French).

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