Absent Bodies, Present Bodies: Fathers and Male Educators at Covid-19 Time


  • Cristiana Ottaviano University of Bergamo, Italy
  • Greta Persico University of Bergamo, Italy




The aim of this paper is to study in deep the relationship between the body, masculinities and educational care. The authors resume their theoretical path and deepen it through a new step of empirical investigation, carried out during the first lockdown in Italy (because of Covid-19 pandemics). The authors wrote this paper choosing to adopt a writing style that also tries to transmit the emotions, and enhancing, rather than concealing, their personal posture, as (though not only) women and mothers. Being aware of the difficulty of carrying out the fieldwork with traditional methods, due to the health emergency measures, we involved – using three different techniques (online questionnaire and semi-structured interviews, in-depth interview) – fathers and mothers, female educators and male educators: the former dealing with the hyper-presence of their boys’ and girls’ bodies; the latter deprived of those bodies by the closure of the crèches for a few weeks. The specific attention on the male body – a topical issue of Men’s Studies – has developed, starting from the debate on the ‘misery of the male body’, in relation to educational care, getting to theorize men’s body as a possible resource in shared vulnerability.

Keywords: masculinities, educational care, body, Covid-19, field research.