Masculinity, Identity and Labour Market Change: Some Reflections on the Implications of Thinking Relationally About Difference and the Politics of Inclusion
In this paper I want to address the connections between the three areas of work: first, the theorisation of identity as relational; second, the significance of difference and diversity in thinking about inequality, labour market restructuring and the social construction of multiple masculinities; and finally, the political implications of taking diversity into account in arguing for a participatory democracy based on ideas about inclusion, respect and responsibility. I want to illustrate these connections in the specific context of a case study about young men in contemporary Britain. In the sections that follow, I focus on each of these areas or concepts in turn, but attempt to demonstrate the connections between the substantive debates in each of the sections. In my conclusion I raise some of the policy implications for building wider social inclusion in democracies by connecting notions of difference and diversity to structural inequalities, or what is sometimes referred to by geographers as ‘the cultural’ and ‘the economic’ dimensions of difference.