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The truncated narrative of gender and development

Jyotirmaya Tripathy (Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras, Chennai, India)

International Journal of Development Issues

ISSN: 1446-8956

Article publication date: 26 June 2009




Research in gender and development (GAD) remains largely preoccupied with women's issues and ignores the gendered nature of masculine experience. While exposing this inconsistency in gender research, the present paper highlights the gendered nature of men, and sets an agenda for their inclusion in gender research and planning.


To engage with the issue, the paper resists an unproblematic understanding of men as a singular formation, and instead builds on cultural and historical approaches which locate masculinity within modes of production.


Instead of casting men in the problem mode and theorizing masculinity as an ahistorical universal, an attempt is made to delink men from patriarchy. For development to be truly transformative, men's issues should be addressed not just as instruments for women empowerment, but also as subjects in themselves.

Practical implications

The paper, at a very broad level, pleads for a need to re‐vision and “men” stream development that does not ignore women, but accommodates men as gendered subjects.


In this context, power may be seen as embedded in specific modes of production, and not inherent in patriarchy. The paper argues that development agenda should go beyond categorical thinking, include men in gender planning, and create conditions for social justice.



Tripathy, J. (2009), "The truncated narrative of gender and development", International Journal of Development Issues, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 4-17.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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