Medicalised Masculinities – Somatechnical Interventions

Karen Hvidtfeldt, Michael Nebeling Petersen, Kristian Møller, Camilla Bruun Eriksen

Publikation: Artikel i tidsskrift og konference artikel i tidsskriftLeder


How do men's medicalisation and bodily interventions evolve in historical and contemporary societies? How does medicalisation transform or reinstall hegemonic notions of masculinity? How are medicalised masculinities represented, practiced, narrated, mediatised, and aestheticised? And how do these medicalisations expand or challenge key concepts in somatechnical and posthumanist theories such as hybridisation, the cyborg, and becoming? These are some of the questions that the articles in this special issue address and analyse in empirical contexts.

While women and minoritised men traditionally have been the subject of both medical intervention and beauty-enhancing treatments, it is a rather new tendency for the white, heterosexual and cis-gendered male body to also be the subject of such treatments and body modifications. During recent decades, still more men are seen to take interest in rejuvenating or enhancing their body: using medical drugs for hair loss, hormone supplies and other medications to increase muscle mass, losing weight, or in other ways countering what is now often referred to as men's menopause or ‘andropause’. Performance-enhancing drug companies market pills for increased concentration and memory, beauty clinics increasingly offer their age-reducing treatments to men, and at the same time, the commercialisation and the use of a product as Viagra is widespread. Thus today, in many regions of the world, cosmetic surgery and medical interventions have become an acceptable and mainstream tool used to ‘fix’ signs of aging or being ‘overweight’, and to thereby achieve a body within the range of what is considered desirable among men.

The articles in this special issue consider medicalisation a cultural phenomenon. They posit that medicalisation emerge inseparably from both new understandings of gender and contemporary media. Compared to approaches rooted in health and social sciences, this humanistic approach is particularly attentive to how mediatised culture shapes the body and its medicalised interventions. In different cultural contexts, and involving various scientific areas and tools, the articles grasp and discuss embodied understandings of masculinity connected to both old and new forms of medicalisation, as well as men's changing imaginations about what constitutes ‘a good life’.
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)1-9
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - 21 apr. 2021


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