Handbook of Research on Gender and Marketing
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Handbook of Research on Gender and Marketing

Edited by Susan Dobscha

Susan Dobscha and the authors in this Handbook provide a primer and resource for scholars and practitioners keen to develop or enhance their understanding of how gender permeates marketing decisions, consumer experiences, public policy initiatives, and market practices.
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Chapter 9: No more mister mom: masculinity and consumption

Jacob Ostberg


This chapter deals with the construction of masculinity in consumer society. This is relevant since consumer research about masculinity has recently suggested that traditional masculinities are changing, not least by men tapping in to areas that have previously been designated as female, such as nurturing for babies and raising children. The chapter addresses the social categories of men and women and how these social categories are connected to certain traits – and ways of being a consumer – that are typically described as masculine and feminine. Some emblematic ways in which men's consumption is described will be discussed, before the specific case of new ideals of fatherhood in Sweden is discussed as an example of how these ideas of masculinity can be challenged. The insights from studying Swedish fatherhood suggest that engaging in nurturing babies and raising children is not a threat to masculinity, but rather an ally in expanding what a 'real man' can be.

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