Transnational caring masculinity: Towards inclusive social counselling
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionNorma 2014;9(2) 10.1080/18902138.2014.908634
The article examines the process of producing images of migrant men in education and practices of cross-cultural social work in Norway. How do the analytical tools of intersectionality and critical discourse analysis enable us to see how masculinity and ethnicity are intertwined with the professional efforts to provide ‘worthy help’? Do the intentions of students to practise inclusive, non-discriminatory social work open for the transformation of the widespread gendered representation of migrant men as patriarchal ‘others’? The empirical material comprises qualitative interviews with social work students and participant observations of education in ‘multicultural social work’ at two university colleges in Norway. I argue that students produce different images of migrant men, depending on their ability to enter into an open discussion about gender equality in diverse societies. Gendered and ethnicized representations of migrant men result in the symbolic marginalization of migrant male users. At the same time when trying to understand the organisation of gender relations in the migration context, students suggest an alternative image of the trans-national caring man. That allows students performing best practices of trans-cultural social work. In multicultural societies, plurality and the gendered nature of masculinities should be discussed in relation to the divergence in doing gender equality.