Men, Machos and Masculinity – A Qualitative Study on how Bolivian Women’s Organizations Approach Gender and Masculinities

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Lunds universitet/Sociologi; Lunds universitet/Sociologiska institutionen

Sammanfattning: This paper examines understandings of gender with an emphasis on masculinities among Bolivian feminist and women´s organizations. The specific aim has been to find out to what extent their understandings of gender include masculinities, and if so, what are their agendas and political positionings in relation to their work with men and boys. Finally, the study has examined what impact the feminist and women’s organization´s political claims have on their relations with each other, and with activists and organizations engaging men and boys in Bolivia. The study is based on 10 in-depth interviews with feminist and women´s rights leaders. Field research was carried out in the cities of La Paz, El Alto, Sucre, Tarija, and Santa Cruz in January and February 2019 with complementary interviews in October and November the same year. This study makes clear the great complexity of Bolivian society at all levels: historical, political, social, cultural, economic, and moral. This complexity was manifested in the various interviews carried out with the Bolivian feminist and women’s organizations under study, in which numerous competing visions, ideas, opinions and thoughts were presented in regard to what has shaped Bolivian society, what is actually happening there, and how best to deal with it. Consequently, they presented different understandings and ideas with regard to gender, the work with men and masculinities and in regard to their relation to one another and to other social actors in society. Not only have the organizations under study chosen to give priority to different explanatory factors and accompanying political struggles, they have also developed these in different ways. The results show that their worldviews and political positions are in conflict with and to different degrees opposed to each other.

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