Men’s emotions in Australia: what new survey data says

Hello everyone interested in research on emotions, men, and masculinities,

I would like to draw your attention to my new publication (co-authored with Vern Smith and Kai Soh) which has just come out in the journal NORMA – this makes use of new national Australian survey data on emotions to generalise about the emotional and affective experiences of men within a national population. 



Title – Generalising men’s affective experiences


Existing approaches to understanding gendered emotions have inadequately identified the complexity of masculine affective experience on a macro-social (population) level. The division of social science into quantitative surveys of singular emotions (e.g. happiness) at the macro-social level, or qualitative examinations of multiplex feelings (i.e. multiple emotional/affective sensations experienced simultaneously) at the micro (local) level leaves existing studies unable to generalise and challenge stereotypes about the gendered affective experiences of the population. This paper uses national data from the 2015–2016 Australian Survey of Social Attitudes to show that men’s reported affective experience is characterised by a multiplex of conflicting primary and secondary emotions at the macro-level. Men’s primary surface emotions seem conventional, in that they are relatively more likely to report ‘work’-oriented emotions like enthusiasm, confidence, pride, and assertiveness. However, men are also more likely to report ‘care’-oriented emotions like care and sympathy, stress, loneliness, and anxiety as secondary emotions. Men who report primary feelings of tiredness and frustration are also more likely to report secondary feelings of love. These findings suggest that, at the macro-social level, men experience a multiplex of emotions consistent with being affectively engaged in family as much as working life, and challenge many stereotypes about men’s affective experience.

Full paper:

Generalising men’s affective experiences

Free copy (up to first 50 downloads): 

Posted in Emotions, Gender, Research.