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Becoming-a-firefighter: On the intra-active relationship between firefighters and their tools
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Humlab.
2016 (English)In: Norma, ISSN 1890-2138, E-ISSN 1890-2146, Vol. 11, no 3, 158-173 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article focuses on the relationship between the members of a local fire brigade in Sweden and their tools, as well as the organisational dynamics that forge this relation. Drawing on the work of Karen Barad [2007. Meeting the universe halfway. Quantum physics and the entanglement of matter and meaning. Durham: Duke University Press], and particularly her notion of intra-action, the intention is to unpick the strong material and symbolic relationship between men, masculinity and tools seen in this profession. While Barad’s work has been useful within feminist theories, few attempts have been made to investigate how her work can benefit critical studies of men and masculinities, one exception being Ulf Mellström [2016. From a hegemonic politics of masculinity to an ontological politics of intimacy and vulnerability? Ways of imagining through Karen Barad's work. Rhizomes, 30. Retrieved from http://www.rhizomes.net/issue30/mellstrom.html] who explores how intimacy may be productive in developing more nuanced understandings of masculinities. Inspired by this approach, this article explores how using Barad’s notion of intra-action as an analytical tool can facilitate a deeper exploration of men’s intimate relationships with technologies. The intra-action between the members of the local fire brigade and their firefighting tools is not a one-off encounter, but takes place continuously. Hence, while a tool – in a specific situation – becomes an integral part of the body and the identity of a group of people, it requires constant maintenance in order to accomplish successful fire extinctions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 11, no 3, 158-173 p.
Keyword [en]
Tools, masculinity, firefighter, Barad, intimacy, identity
National Category
Gender Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-125653DOI: 10.1080/18902138.2016.1217693OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-125653DiVA: diva2:970509
Available from: 2016-09-13 Created: 2016-09-13 Last updated: 2016-11-29Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf