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Urban Homebodies: Embodiment, Masculinity, and Domesticity in Inner Sydney



Gender is a key lens for interpreting meanings and practices of home(making) in urban neighbourhoods, but while there is a rich understanding of women's experiences, there is a paucity of work on men's. To advance insights into gendered dimensions of home in urban contexts, this paper discusses men's embodied experiences of home in inner Sydney, drawing data from fieldwork with 52 men. This focus is prompted by scholarly and policy concern with men's emotional wellbeing. I seek to understand how these men deploy their homes to pursue work/life balance and how domestic activities contribute to their emotional wellbeing. I find that these men use their bodies as emotional and sensuous instruments to manage the interplay of work(place) and home(place). Moreover, I suggest that these men's embodied emotional engagements with domesticity reconfigure the gendered practices and imaginaries of homelife, and challenge persistent gender inequalities and stereotypes by providing alternatives to hegemonic masculinity.