Family, law and feminism: Putting masculinity on the agenda
The study of men and masculinities in the field of family law has occurred at a nexus of developments which, although linked, draw on distinct political and intellectual trajectories in terms of how the central relationship between law and the power of men has been conceptualised. A number of authors associated with the critical study or new sociology of men and masculinities have figured, with varying degrees of prominence, in this work. The most significant influence on the analysis of masculinity within family law has, however, undoubtedly been that of feminism. The very project of feminist legal studies is, of course, contentious, not least in terms of an epistemological foundation around the unified subject ‘Woman’. It is nonetheless, for heuristic purposes, possible to identify a number of distinctive ‘phases’ or approaches within feminist scholarship in family law, each of which have conceptualised men and masculinity in some very different ways.