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Richard Collier

This chapter explores selected aspects of the history and development of theorising and research on men and masculinities within the context of the study of the relationship between law and families. It considers how masculinity has been conceptualised and approached, identifying key themes and concerns and drawing on examples from masculinities scholarship in the area of family law; a sub-field of legal studies in which the engagement with masculinity has been particularly advanced. It considers, in particular, the underlying conceptualisation of masculinity, looking at recent developments that have sought to ask new questions about the relationship between men, masculinity and law. Debates within family law exemplify, I suggest, broader issues about the analytical limits of the concept of masculinity. Recent work seeking to ask the law’s ‘man question’ has much to offer the study of men and masculinities, and legal scholarship itself has much to gain from a closer engagement with the study of masculinities.