‘Maturing’ a sub-discipline: the intersectional geographies of masculinities and old age

Tarrant, Anna (2010). ‘Maturing’ a sub-discipline: the intersectional geographies of masculinities and old age. Geography Compass, 4(10) pp. 1580–1591.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-8198.2010.00394.x


From the early 1990s, the study of men and masculinities and the spatiality of their identities, has established itself as a significant subfield of critical social geographies. At the same time, geographies of childhood and youth, and to a much lesser extent old age identities, have emerged and become intersected. Recently, it has been suggested that these studies of social markers of difference have reached a critical mass (Hopkins 2008). Upon further exploration however, it is evident that together these literatures have focused more on childhood and young men, neglecting older and ageing men. Curiously, there are few literatures that connect old age and men and masculinities from a spatial perspective. This is not only reflected in social geography literatures but across the social sciences. In this article, I briefly review the subfields of masculinities and age, both within the discipline of geography and elsewhere, and seek to join the currently disconnected literatures to identify older men’s age identities as an absent presence in geography. I argue that this will contribute to the maturation of the current literatures of men and masculinities and enhance theoretical understandings of men’s power, both in critical social geographies and beyond.

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