Masculinity, male caregiving, and LGB paramedics: Emotional labour and hegemonic masculinity

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Jewkes and Morrell (2012) conceptualise hegemonic masculinity as a set of values which have been established by men in power in an attempt to include and exclude, whilst also organizing society in gender unequal ways. An interplay of men’s identity, ideals, interactions, power and patriarchy all lead to the establishment of masculinity in the emergency services. As a profession, paramedicine has strong ties to the military and a militaristic approach remains clearly evident in the organizational hierarchy, uniform, rules and regulations as well as the organizational culture that is assimilated by the members of the profession.Exploring the role of the paramedic through a hegemonic masculinity lens, this chapter seeks to explore the impact that hegemonic masculinity has on the role of the paramedic, from the viewpoint of LGBT inclusion in the profession. This is explored through a consideration of dress (uniform), the behaviours demonstrated in the workplace, interactions and relationships, promotion, errors in clinical practice and the response to these as well as culture at the local level and how this can be influenced by hegemonic masculinity. Queer theory provides an insight into the impact of heteronormativity and the status quo that exists in emergency services, allowing for an exploration of LGBT inclusion in paramedicine. Through the use of a queer theory framework, and consideration of how the masculine culture impacts dress and appearance, the creation and enforcement of heteronormativity is explored, ultimately considering the effects that this has on the role and identity of paramedics. The authors argue that whilst there have been significant in-roads made to LGBT inclusion in the paramedic workplace, the reality is that many LGBT paramedics remain invisible to facilitate employment and promotion within their service, due to a culture of compulsory heterosexuality. We will be reviewing policy and publicly available reports into workplace culture in Australian emergency services. Specific policies to be reviewed include LQBTQIA+ Policy Guide 2020, Workforce inclusion strategy (Queensland Health), QAS Strategy 2016 – 2021, Queensland public sector LGBTIQ+ inclusion strategy 2017 – 2022. A review of the relevant uniform policies will also be included.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGender, Feminist and Queer Studies
Subtitle of host publicationPower, privilege and Inequality in a Time of Neoliberal Conservatism
EditorsDonna Bridges, Cliff Lewis, Elizabeth Wulff, Chelsea Litchfield, Larissa Bamberry
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781003316954
ISBN (Print)9781032328294
Publication statusPublished - 2024


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