Men, Health and Wellbeing: Critical Insights Conference


The Centre for Menís Health at Leeds Beckett University is an established, world-recognised research unit which hosted a major conference on Men, Health and Wellbeing in July 2014. The conference brought together experts from around the world who research men and masculinities in relation to health, lifestyle, consumption and wellbeing. There was an emphasis on critical, qualitative research which drew on menís voices and priorities, including men who are marginalised in terms of social class, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity and age.

The keynotes set the tone of the conference giving fantastic directions for our field. John Oliffe highlighted the common pitfalls and silos of the men's health field also noting the constant comparisons with women's health were tired and unhelpful. Lee Monoghan argued for the greater integration of sociology in understanding menís health as well as an acknowledgment of "a disastrous neoliberal system". Jeff Hearn critiqued the idea of a separate men's health field itself highlighting the white and able-ist focus of the field, whilst also opposing healthism. Finally, Raewyn Connell had a call to arms for us; urging delegates to unite with unions, to engage with non-Westernized research and to critique global capitalism.

We had a very broad range of speakers on both days. Some key take home messages included: men can talk and need spaces to talk, practitioners should reach out creatively to marginalised men (e.g., using exergaming) and a call for a broader macro focus as a determinant of health. Like all conferences, there was also some healthy debate between those who adhered to a biomedical model of obesity and those who were more aware of the damaging effects of weight stigma and general healthism. Our posters were fantastic additions to the conference; reflected by the many broad nominations received for best poster prize. Particular congratulations go to Christoph Schwamm, the poster prize winner. This is only a snapshot of the conference so please search on twitter for #MHWConf for other glimpses.

Download keynote speech by Professor Jeff Hearn

Download keynote speech by Professor John Oliffe

Download keynote speech by Dr Lee F Monoghan

Download keynote speech by Professor Raewyn Connell


Keynote Speakers

Professor Raewyn ConnellProfessor Raewyn Connell, University of Sydney, Australia

Raewyn Connell is University Professor at the University of Sydney, and an activist in the labour movement and peace movement. Her most recent books are Southern Theory (2007), about social thought beyond the global metropole; Gender: In World Perspective (2009); and Confronting Equality (2011), about social science and politics. Her best-known book is Masculinities, which has been translated into nine languages. Her website is at

Professor John OliffeProfessor John Oliffe, University of British Columbia, Canada

Dr John Oliffe is Professor at the School of Nursing, University of British Columbia. Founder and lead investigator of the menís health research program, his work focuses on masculinities and gender relations as they relate to menís health behaviors and illness management. His studies address a range of menís health issues including depression, suicide, prostate cancer and tobacco reduction and smoking cessation. Transitioning descriptive findings toward interventions the menís health research program aims to bolster clinicians and researchers efforts to advance the health of men and their families. For more information, please visit

Professor Jeff HearnProfessor Jeff Hearn, Swedish School of Economics (Hanken), Finland

Jeff Hearn is Professor of Management and Organization, Hanken School of Economics, Finland; Guest Faculty Research Professor (Gender Studies), Örebro University, Sweden; and Professor of Sociology, University of Huddersfield. He has worked on men, masculinities and gendered power for many years, including ageing, health, well-being, sexuality and violence, e.g. through the EU European Thematic Network on Research on Men in Europe (CROME), and the EU Study on the Role of Men in Gender Equality (2013). He is co-managing editor of Routledge Advances in Feminist Studies and Intersectionality book series, and co-editor of NORMA: International Journal for Masculinity Studies. His many books include: ĎSexí at ĎWorkí; Men in the Public Eye; The Violences of Men; European Perspectives on Men and Masculinities; and the co-edited Men and Masculinities around the World; and Rethinking Transnational Men (2013)

Dr Lee F. MonaghanDr Lee F. Monaghan, University of Limerick, Ireland

Lee F Monaghan obtained his PhD from the Cardiff School of Social Sciences and is currently Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University of Limerick. Leeís research explores issues relating to: the body/embodiment; gender; risk (illicit drug use, sexualities and violence); and financial capitalism. He has published in various international journals on health matters, such as The Sociology of Health & Illness, Social Science & Medicine, Social Theory & Health; and, Critical Public Health. His books include Bodybuilding, Drugs and Risk (Routledge 2001), Men and the War on Obesity (Routledge 2008), Key Concepts in Medical Sociology (Sage 2013, co-edited with J. Gabe) and Debating Obesity: Critical Perspectives (Palgrave, 2011; co-edited with E. Rich and L. Aphramor). He is co-author of Challenging Masculinity Myths (forthcoming, with Michael Atkinson), and is also currently writing about the causes and consequences of the financial crisis.

Conference Organisation Team

Conference Administrator

Sue Rooke†
+44 113 812 1957

Institute for Health and Wellbeing