Men’s Sheds: An Inclusive Space for Marginalized and Socially Excluded Males

Reinie Cordier*, Natasha Mahoney, Nathan J. Wilson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

The desire for and drive towards establishing social contact with others are socially imbued in all human beings. However, across the lifespan, men and boys have different social networks and attain social connectedness in different ways to women and girls. Regardless, the sense of social connectedness that meaningful social contacts offer is important and forges an important buffer against adverse experiences. While everyone experiences difficult episodes, disruptions, and challenging transitions across the lifespan, men and boys on the social and gendered margins - referred to within the masculinities literature as experiencing a marginalized and/or subordinated masculinity - are at particular risk. 

In the Australian context, Men's Sheds have emerged as a space that fosters social inclusion and identity. Men's Sheds are community-based male-specific spaces centered on shared activities and socialization. Men's Sheds have offered many Australian men and boys the catalyst to break out of socially excluded life situations and to gain a sense of masculine inclusion. Research has shown that Men's Sheds can provide ideal spaces for targeted programs, such as mentoring and support groups, for a wide variety of men across all ages. This chapter will theoretically unpack the intersection of Men's Sheds, the development of gender and masculinity, social inclusion, and illustrate how social exclusion and isolation can be countered though engagement with Men's Sheds. Male-specific responses to mental health challenges and lifespan disruptions will be presented as points of intersect where a strong sense of inclusion can develop into feelings of exclusion and isolation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Social Inclusion
Subtitle of host publicationResearch and Practices in Health and Social Sciences
EditorsPranee Liamputtong
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherSpringer
Pages791-810
Number of pages20
Edition1
ISBN (Electronic)9783030895945
ISBN (Print)9783030895938
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2022

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