Abstract: In the context of renewed debates and interest in this area, this paper reframes the theoretical agenda around laddish masculinities in UK higher education, and similar masculinities overseas. These can be contextualised within consumerist neoliberal rationalities, the neoconservative backlash against feminism and other social justice movements, and the postfeminist belief that women are winning the ‘battle of the sexes’. Contemporary discussions of ‘lad culture’ have rightly centred sexism and men’s violence against women: however, we need a more intersectional analysis. In the UK a key intersecting category is social class, and there is evidence that while working-class articulations of laddism proceed from being dominated within alienating education systems, middle-class and elite versions are a reaction to feeling dominated due to a loss of gender, class and race privilege. These are important differences, and we need to know more about the conditions which shape and produce particular performances of laddism, in interaction with masculinities articulated by other social groups. It is perhaps unhelpful, therefore, to collapse these social positions and identities under the banner of ‘lad culture’, as has been done in the past.
The published version of this paper is available here.
Alison Phipps: Genders, bodies, politics.
I am currently Professor of Gender Studies at Sussex University, and this site houses links to my academic and non-academic writing, and resources I have produced. The menu at the top will take you to various pages with information on my books on feminism, my work on sexual violence in higher education, my new project Changing University Cultures, my Feminism 101 introductory lectures, and my resources for researchers on topics such as developing proposals, applying intersectionality, and ‘impact’.
My recent blog posts are to the right: you can also explore the archives of my blog posts using the tags at the bottom of the page, covering themes such as sexual violence, sex work, feminism, and neoliberalism. I hope you find the material here useful and interesting – if you do, please leave me a comment. You can also follow this blog or follow me on Twitter @alisonphipps.