CGF Higher Seminar with Klara Goedecke
”Other Guys Don’t Hang Out Like This”. Gendered Friendship Politics Among Swedish Middle-Class Men
Klara Goedecke, Uppsala University
Abstract: Friendships between men have often been accused of shallowness, homophobia and fear of closeness. However, they have also been seen as relations where closeness between men and new ways of being a man may develop. Departing from in-depth interviews with individual and pairs of men, friends with each other, I discuss friendships are connected to productions of masculine positions, discourses around sexuality and class, as well as Swedish ideologies of gender equality. I show that friendship is explicitly politicised and seen as a tool of social change, and argue that these meaning-makings around men’s friendships contribute to reproducing, normalising and disrupting gender relations and expectations of men, which complicates and deepens discussions about men’s friendships and men’s relationships to processes of social change.