Psychosocial support of men in the context of “male problems”
Cand. Sci. (Philos.), Assoc. prof., Department of ontology, epistemology and social philosophy, National Research Tomsk State University, Tomsk, Russia firstname.lastname@example.org
The problem of organizing a system of social and psychological work with men in the Russian Federation is discussed in this article. Based on the statistical data of acute “male” issues in today’s society is formulated an understanding of its active resolution. These issues under author’s consideration include emotional stiffness and the underdevelopment, male super-mortality, alcoholism and drug addiction, addiction to depression, suicidal behavior, tendency to physical aggression and crime. The main goal is to suggest the meta-social and methodological framework for activities in men’s support. As a part of the methodology, men’s problems seem to be a consequence of entrenched social culture stereotypes of masculinity that make up classic model of masculinity. This model is constructed through “natural” male qualities and “natural” feminine qualities being in opposition. The situation is complicated by the fact that much of the “female” characteristics express essential features of human nature as such. Those are vulnerability, caring for offspring, affection and love, fear as examples. Overcoming some characteristics and permanent cultivation of others deprives man of his natural balance. Therefore, the continual scramble for achieving the status of “real men” is not only pointless, as leading to contradictory unattainable ideal, but dangerous for man’s health. The work of Russian and foreign organizations of male traditionalist and anti-traditionalist persuasions is also analyzed in the article. The landmark work of the Altai crisis center for men situated in Barnaul town (Altai region) is described. Over these years more than 65 programs and projects for men and teenagers were implemented by its team. Unfortunately, the Altai center precedent is an exclusion at the moment in Russian Federation. The main reason for this is inertia of public opinion. The man’s problems are obvious and require continuing effort to find solutions. However, there are problems associated with distorted ideals of masculinity and practices to achieve them followed by many problems of women and children, such as orphans, domestic violence, lack of paternity, prostitution, etc. The need of easing traditional stereotypes pressure of “real masculinity” on modern men, alternative masculinity models, pluralism in male practices are formulated in conclusions.
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