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Towards an understanding of loneliness among Australian men: gender cultures, embodied expression and the social bases of belonging

Franklin, A ORCID: 0000-0002-3207-0498, Neves, BB, Hookway, N ORCID: 0000-0002-0187-4741, Patulny, R, Tranter, B ORCID: 0000-0002-0649-6065 and Jaworski, K 2018 , 'Towards an understanding of loneliness among Australian men: gender cultures, embodied expression and the social bases of belonging' , Journal of Sociology , pp. 1-20 , doi: 10.1177/1440783318777309.

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Abstract

Recent quantitative investigations consistently single out considerable gender variations in theexperience of loneliness in Australia, and in particular how men are especially prone to protractedand serious episodes of loneliness. In 2017 the Director of Lifeline implicated loneliness as asignificant factor in suicide among Australian men – currently three times the rate of suicide amongwomen. Compared to women men also struggle to talk about loneliness or seek help from a range of informal and professional sources. We know very little about men’s experience of lonelinessor why they are so susceptible to it currently and research is urgently needed in order to designspecific interventions for them. To date, psychology has dominated the theoretical research onloneliness but in this article we argue that sociology has a key role to play in broadening out thetheoretical terrain of this understanding so as to create culturally informed interventions. Mostresearchers agree that loneliness occurs when belongingess needs remain unmet, yet it is alsoacknowledged that such needs are culturally specific and changing. We need to understand howloneliness and gender cultures configure for men; how they are located in different ethnic, classand age cohort cultures as well as the changing social/economic/spatial/public/institutional basesfor belonging across Australia. Theoretical enquiry must encompass the broader social structuralnarratives (Bauman, Giddens and Sennett) and link these to the changing nature of belonging ineveryday life – across the public sphere, the domestic sphere, work, in kinship systems, housingand settlement patterns, associational life, in embodied relationships and online.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Franklin, A and Neves, BB and Hookway, N and Patulny, R and Tranter, B and Jaworski, K
Keywords: Bauman, gender cultures, kinship, loneliness, phenomenology, public realm
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Sociology
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN: 1440-7833
DOI / ID Number: 10.1177/1440783318777309
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 the authors

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