21st Century Man (ESRC Festival of Social Science)

This unique, one-day inter-disciplinary conference will explore the challenges and complexities facing men in the 21stcentury. The topics debated will cover a range of themes on everything from hidden male voices to male childlessness; from youth loneliness and belonging to male victims of honour-based violence.

Colleagues from across Manchester Metropolitan University will showcase their research and invite debate and discussion from a guest panel of experts and an audience of experts from across the fields of health, law, education and society as a whole.


12.00pm – Registration and lunch

12.45pm – Event Starts with introduction from Dr Jenny Fisher

1.00pm – Panel debate chaired by Dr Michael Carroll with guest speakers:

  • Dr Kellie Payne – Research and Policy Manager, Campaign to End Loneliness
  • Ally Fogg – Writer, journalist and a co-founder of the Men and Boys Coalition
  • Professor Steve Robertson – Emeritus Professor, Leeds Beckett University
  • Rani Bilkhu – Founder of Jeena Charity

2.00pm – Banter in spaces of care and truce // Dr James Duggan, Research Fellow, School of Childhood, Youth and Education Studies, Faculty of Education; and Brian McShane (Goldsmith’s College)

This session explores the challenges and tensions in conducting research and practicing youth work with young men at the interstices between cultures of care and research, and forms of masculinity and difference. The talk aims to explore banter as a relation and the ontological positions of this. We consider the different ways speech acts operate based on group contexts and the ways that banter reaffirms but also refigure hierarchies of belonging

2.30pm – ‘How is a man supposed to be a man’ // Dr Robin Hadley, Research Associate, Research Institute for Health and Social Change

This session is draws on Robin’s autobiographical research studies on childless men who wanted to be a father. Childless men are invisible in statistics and their experiences are absent from most literature. This presentation draws on interviews with men who wanted to be a ‘Dad’ and will show how the impact of not becoming a father lasts across the life course and has serious implications for mental and physical wellbeing, economically and socially.

3.00pm – Break

3.15pm – ‘Sperm function and fertility’ // Dr Michael Carroll, School of Healthcare Science

Research over the past 15 years suggest that sperm quality is declining. This decline can be attributed to lifestyle and environmental factors. This talk will give an overview on sperm function and factors that can impact on the quality of sperm and male fertility

3.45pm – ‘Boys Don’t Cry – using multi-media mobile technology to talk to men about mental health’ // Dr Jenny Fisher, Department of Social Care and Social Work

This session is based on a co-produced research project that took place in Summer 2016. Health and social care professionals, social science researchers and volunteers who work with men around mental health are increasingly using digital technologies to engage people in discussions. We used a mobile multi-media method to engage men to talk about mental health in a variety of community spaces across the North West of England.

4.15pm – ‘The Forgotten Voices: Men, Honour-Based Violence and Forced Marriages’ // Maz Idriss, Manchester Law School and Trustee of the Management Committee of Derbyshire Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Service (DDVSAS)

This title explores men’s experiences of honour-based violence and forced marriages in the United Kingdom. As a group, male victimisation is often overlooked; this session will aim to highlight the lack of support offered to such men by society as well as exploring a series of recommendations to support men experiencing HBV violence.

4.45pm – Closing plenary chaired by TBC

To register for this event please go to the Eventbrite page.

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