Men, Law and Gender
Essays on the ‘Man’ of Law
Routledge-Cavendish – 2009
What does it mean to speak of ‘men’ as a gender category in relation to law? How does law relate to masculinities? This book presents the first comprehensive overview and critical assessment of the relationship between men, law and gender; outlining the contours of the ‘man’ of law across diverse areas of legal and social policy. Written in a theoretically informed, yet accessible style, Men, Law and Gender provides an introduction to the study of law and masculinities whilst calling for a richer, more nuanced conceptual framework in which men’s legal practices and subjectivities might be approached. Building on recent sociological work concerned with the relational nature of gender and personal life, Richard Collier argues that social, cultural and economic changes have reshaped ideas about men and masculinities in ways that have significant implications for law. Bringing together voices and disciplines that are rarely considered together, he explores the way ideas about men have been contested and politicised in the legal arena. Including original empirical studies of male lawyers, the legal profession and fathers’ rights and law reform, alongside discussions of university law schools and legal academics, and family policy and parenting cultures, this innovative, timely and important text provides a unique and important insight into the relationship between law, men and masculinities. It will be required reading for academics and students in law and legal theory, socio-legal studies, gender studies, sociology and social policy, as well as policy-makers and others concerned with the changing nature of gender relations.
‘In this extraordinarily original and provocative book, Richard Collier clearly establishes the terms for future debates about legal and social constructions of masculinity and the relationship between law, gender, and men … In a strikingly creative series of chapters, Collier provides the reader with compelling assessments of how recent cultural, social, and economic transformations have profoundly altered men's expectations and aspirations for themselves and others. Collier's complex and sophisticated approach to masculinity presents a needed challenge to outmoded ways of thinking about men and gender… it is an inspiration for future work across the disciplines’
Martha Albertson Fineman, Robert W. Woodruff Professor at Emory University, School of Law
‘Richard Collier's careful extraction of codes of masculinity embedded in different aspects of the law is a milestone in critical legal thinking. Whether focusing on legal institutions (law school, law firms), legal discourse, or social movements that focus on the law, Collier is invariably empirically grounded, theoretically informed, and deeply thoughtful. Men, Law and Gender is both a bracing analysis and a critical gendered meditation.’
Michael Kimmel, Professor of Sociology, SUNY Stony Brook
‘Men, Law and Gender is the product of many years of thoughtful engagement in the field of gendered legal studies. It is impressive in the range of issues covered and in the way in which it moves between the everyday experiences to more general issues of gender and law in a changing society. It is impressive, most of all, in its refusal to accept easy answers and in the many ways in which it engages the reader in a critical debate and in a confrontation with some of the key issues of our time.’
Professor David H J Morgan, Keele University and Emeritus Professor, Morgan Centre for the Study of Relationships and Personal Life, University of Manchester
1. Men, Masculinities and Law: Recasting the ‘Man Question’ in Legal Studies 2. The Restructured University – Rethinking the Gendered Law School 3. Beyond the ‘Private Life’ of the Law School: Class and the (Legal) Academic Subject 4. ‘Read What The Law Firms Say’: Gender and the Representation of Career Success in the Contemporary Legal Profession 5. Engaging Fathers, Changing Men?: Law, Gender and Parenting Cultures 6. ‘Please Send Me Evenings and Weekends’: Male Lawyers, Gender and the Negotiation of Work and Family Commitments 7. On Fathers’ Rights, Law and Gender: Recasting the Questions About Men, Masculinities and Personal Life
Richard Collier is Professor of Law at the University of Newcastle UK.