Recent decades have brought about a striking increase in inequality among men across many scales. Within the regime of globalized financialized capitalism, manufacturing has been relocated to low-wage regions, and many of the jobs have simply disappeared because of automation. At the same time, in the upper echelons of financial capitalism, elite men continue to predominate, simultaneously fueling profitable market “bubbles” through rhetorics of masculine performance and excusing market crises through narratives that reference uncontrollable male hormones. The new regime has both recruited women into the paid workforce, and promoted state and corporate disinvestment from social welfare.
Understanding the relationships among these varied discourses requires not just new empirical investigations, but new categories. Taking on this challenge will be the subject of this Matrix Prospecting Team, which is interested in understanding better the relationship between masculinity, conventionally defined in relationship to the sphere of production, and the changing contours of that sphere of production.