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The Affective Intensities of Gender Transformative Work: An Actionable Framework for Facilitators Working with Boys and Young Men

By Amanda Keddie and Doris Bartel, 2020

Facilitating critical discussions with young men about issues of masculinity is not easy work. Gender transformative programs must engage with difficult conversations about issues such as heterosexism, homophobia, and masculine entitlement. The affective force of these issues tends to be downplayed in the pedagogic approaches within these programs, as does the complex facilitation skills required to engage boys and men in these difficult conversations. This paper draws on interview data gathered from a broader study that sought to identify new educative approaches to gender justice in four different sites in the United States. The data were generated through discussions with facilitators and researchers involved in the delivery and evaluation of a gender transformative program for disadvantaged boys and young men. The paper presents four stories that foreground concerns expressed in the interviews about facilitator bias and the feminist delivery of the program. These stories highlight the affective intensities involved in gender transformative work with young men. The paper brings together important work in the area of critical pedagogies, affect, and feminist theory to offer an actionable framework to support facilitators and participants to critically engage with the affective intensities of gender transformative work. Keywords: gender transformative work, masculinities, affect and emotion, critical pedagogies, critical affective literacy

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