Barber Talks Gender
"Is There a 'New Man'? Lessons from the Hair Salon"
University of Arkansas, November 2018
- A lively debate on the future of masculinity has emerged in the popular media and on social media. New terms such as “toxic masculinity” are being used to highlight problematic attitudes and behaviors expected of men; and there is a move to favor a “new man” who sheds the confines of aggression, heterosexual promiscuity, homophobia, and emotional stoicism. While some people criticize “new men” for being “like women” and thus traitors to their supposed biology, gender scholars argue that we need to rethink masculinity if we want a more equalitarian world. Some scholars even argue that masculinity itself is a problem, and that we have to do away with the concept altogether.
In this talk, Sociologist Dr. Kristen Barber, will discuss her research on the “new man” who crosses gender boundaries. These men popularly serve as evidence that gender relations are indeed shifting, but Dr. Barber argues we should be clear about what exactly is changing and what is staying the same. Come join Dr. Barber as she discusses what her book, Styling Masculinity: Gender, Class, and Inequality in the Men’s Grooming Industry, can teach us about which sort of men can forge identities as “new men” and how these “new men” continue to enjoy the privileges of masculinity while appearing progressive.
"The Women Who Make Men" for the 2018 American Men's Studies Association Panel on Intersecting Inequalities in Contemporary Masculinities Studies
University of Minnesota, March 2018
- Drawing from research for the book, Styling Masculinity, this talk will focus on the case of high-service men’s salons and what Barber has learned about how a particular classed and raced masculine privilege is reproduced. Barber uses this case study to focus on the key role women beauty service providers play in masculinizing beauty and ultimately reproducing gender relations on the ground.
"Styling Masculinity: Gender, Class, and Inequality in the Men's Grooming Industry"
Michigan State University, February 2017
- The GenCen and the Department of Sociology are delighted to host an informal conversation with Kristen Barber, author of the acclaimed book, “Styling Masculinity: Gender, Class, and Inequality in the Men’s Grooming Industry.”Dr. Barber’s book has been highlighted in the New York Times Magazine and on Wisconsin Public Radio. During her visit to MSU, she’ll be discussing with graduate students about her experience studying men and masculinity, and what she thinks is the place of masculinity studies in feminist scholarship.
"Where the Women Washed Away? The Gender of Vulnerability and Resilience in Disaster
Mount Royal University, August 2015
- Barber examines the sharp contrasts depicted in the days following the 2005 hurricane. Among other things, she points to gender as "an important variable shaping experiences of disaster," but one often overlooked by scholars: "Women face unique challenges in disaster preparedness, evacuation, and recovery. Poor women of color, especially single mothers, have special needs that are not considered by emergency response organizations, leaving women and their kin to face higher rates of domestic and sexual violence, reproductive and prenatal health complications, and loss of social networks important for everyday survival."
"Men at the March: Gender and Protest Participation in Anti-Sexual Assault Events"
Montgomery College, March 2015
"Missing in the Storm: Women in the Post-Hurricane Katrina Literature"
Winthrop University, February 2015
- This annual colloquium honored the late English Professor Dorothy Perry Thompson, founder of Winthrop’s minor in African American Studies program, and was sponsored by the African American studies minor, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Departments of Interdisciplinary Studies, Sociology, Anthropology and Environmental Sciences, and the Global Learning Initiative.