P-1/04 From logger to tourist host. Changing rural masculinity

Paper presented at the XI World Congress in Rural Sociology Trondheim – Norway, July 25 – 30. Forestry has traditionally been one of the most masculine rural work activities. Over the recent decades the forestry industry has gone through considerable transition regarding technology, organisation of work and decline in employment. One consequence is that forest owners need to consider extra sources of income. Rather than using their outfield forests for tree harvesting, another option has been to commercialize local game and fishing resources and offer tourist services for people from the city who want to experience nature and the wilderness. This paper is concerned with the consequences of this transformation for rural masculine identities. Dominant constructions of rural forest based masculinity have emphasized hard work, stamina, strength and power. The question is what happens to the construction of masculinity when rural men engage in work that also can be characterized as service work –as answering to the needs of others? By studying the mediations of masculinity in one volume of a forestry magazine, we describe how the construction of masculinity is influenced both by the changing demands of work and the relation to the urban newcomers to the area.

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