Redundant Masculinities?. Employment Change and White Working Class Youth. Antipode Book Series - Product Image

Redundant Masculinities?. Employment Change and White Working Class Youth. Antipode Book Series

  • ID: 2246319
  • Book
  • 304 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Failing at school, disadvantaged in a changing labour market, and characterized by policy–makers as thugs, young men are said by some to be experiencing a crisis of masculinity. InRedundant Masculinities? Linda McDowell, known for her path–breaking work on gender relations and identities, investigates this crisis as it relates to young working–class men in the West.

The book focuses on a case study of young, white, male school leavers, based in the contrasting British cities of Cambridge and Sheffield. Drawing on a range of disciplinary approaches as well as interviews with the young men over the course of 18 months, it looks at the level of anxiety unskilled school leavers suffer about their sense of themselves as men and as wage earners. McDowell′s analysis brings together arguments about the social construction of identities and about economic restructuring to reveal that the so–called ′crisis of masculinity′ is not what it seems.

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List of Plates.

List of Tables.


1. Introduction: Young, White, Male and Working Class.

2. The Rise of Poor Work: Employment Restructuring and Changing Class and Gender Identities.

3. The Contemporary Crisis Of Masculinity: It′s Hard To Be(Come) A Man or The Problem of/for Boys.

4. Living on The Edge: Marginal Lives In Cambridge and Sheffield.

5. Leaving School: Pathways To Employment and Further Education.

6. Actively Seeking Employment: Committed Workers and Reluctant Learners.

7. Uncertain Transitions: Accidental and Incidental Workers, The Excluded and Escape Attempts.

8. Performing Identity: Protest and Domestic Masculinities.

9. Conclusions: What Is To Be Done About Boys?


Appendix 1: Research Methodology.

Appendix 2: The Participants.




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"This book will appeal to a wide audience. It so adroitly sums up the state of play in a number of arenas: the contemporary UK economy and the future of work, current debates about gender and identity, the crisis of masculinity, and the emerging problem of white, working–class boys floundering to hold down jobs and identities that are increasingly redundant ."

––Rosemary Pringle, Professor of Sociology, University of Southampton, UK

"Much has been written about the so–called ′crisis of masculinity′ but rarely have its contours been charted in such as precise way and with such clear empathy for those at its cutting edge."
––Peter Jackson, University of Sheffield, UK

"I recommend , and sincerely hope, that this book is widely read, inside and outside academia." (Enviroment and Planning D: Society and Space)

"Linda McDowell has produced a highly readable and accessible book, packed with rich and original empirical data, and written with a lightness of touch that belies the complexity of the theoretical debates pulled together within it. Redundant Masculinities combines an impressive synthesis of contemporary theoretical debates and perspectives, with a thorough empirical methodology to produce a first–class piece of applied research." (Work, Employment and Society)

"McDowell offers a groundbreaking and often intensely sympathetic portrait of the ruptures and fragmentations of white, working class male hegemony under neoliberalism. Through deft use of narrative and analysis, she humanizes masculinity and masculine development in a manner heretofore rarely seen in sociological research." (Area 2005, vol 34/4)

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