Mats Utas is a professor in Anthropology and head of the department of Anthropology and Ethnology at Uppsala University. His research mainly focused on conflict and post conflict situations based on extensive fieldwork in West Africa, mainly Liberia and Sierra Leon.
In this video he contributes with his analysis on gang culture based on post-conflict Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leon and draws some observations on organisational structures and contexts in which criminal groups emerge.
Are these patterns that dissimilar from those we see around gangs in Europe and North America?
Filming and editing by Lost in a Cup’s video director Carl Broberg (2020).
If you order coffee from the shop I go to the storage, find the articles, put them in a box, print the label and send you the goods.
Can you also put ‘men’ in clearly defined boxes? – No.
Recent years have seen post-structuralists look into many of the norms in our societies and question them often shedding light on dogmas that could be changed to improve our conditions of living.
A lot of progress has been made to empower women by giving access to higher education, something not very common 50 years ago and encouraging a stronger position and role in society beyond the household.
What about men? How much has been done to encourage men to take on household duties, look after children, be more emotionally available, say how they feel, open up? – Not much at all.
Last week was ‘remembrance Sunday’ and people marked the sacrifice of many men who died during wars throughout history. Going to war, fighting and dying in battles they barely understood and sacrificing their lives for the glory of their country – or so they told them. The trauma of war scarred people for life but society forbid them from crying or being visibly affected by the horrors they witnessed in the trenches. A proper man is supposed to have a stiff upper lip.
Sweden is world leading in trying to work on this second, often overlooked, side of gender equality by implementing parental leave for both mothers and fathers.
Today is #internationalmensday and it is worth a thought on how confined the role of a man is within most societies. ‘Man up!’ – ‘Don’t be a pussy!‘ are common things to say or hear even today; is this effectively putting men into a box that limits who they can be and what they can do?
If you want to have coffee in a box check out the web shop.
If instead, you want to try to take men out of ‘the box’ contribute your views on the topic of ‘Men’ and the role they have or should have within our society. All stories and comments welcome on #BackStories
This article is in line with Lost in a Cup‘s ethos and value #EspressøYourself which distinguishes it from your average coffee seller online.