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The Men and the Boys. Edition No. 1

  • ID: 5224648
  • Book
  • October 2000
  • 272 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
In recent years, questions about men and boys have aroused remarkable media interest, public concern and controversy. Across the world, health services are noticing the relevance of men’s gender to problems as diverse as road accidents, diet and sexually transmitted disease. Teachers are increasingly preoccupied with the poor educational performance of boys, and criminologists have begun to explore why men and boys continue to dominate the crime statistics.

In this timely new volume, one of the world’s leading authorities on masculinity helps us to understand these developments, and make sense of the multiplying issues about men and boys. Five years on from the publication of the seminal study Masculinities, this book reflects on the growing social scientific research in this area. Connell assesses its strengths and weaknesses and explores its implications for contemporary problems from boys’ education and men’s health to international peacemaking.

Written in a lively and accessible way, this book will be essential reading for all students of sociology, politics and gender studies, as well as anyone interested in the future of gender relations.
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1 Debates about men, new research on masculinities 3

Issues about men and boys 3

The new social research on masculinity 6

Key conclusions of recent research 9

2 New directions in theory and research 15

Current debate: Concepts of gender and approaches to masculinity 16

The gender relations approach 23

Conceptualizing masculinities 29

Agenda for research 32


3 Masculinities and globalization 39

The world gender order 40

The repositioning of men and the remaking of masculinities 43

Globalizing masculinities 46

Masculinity politics on a world scale 52

4 Globalization and men's bodies 57

Understanding men's bodies 57

Imperialism and men's bodies 60

Contemporary globalization and men's bodies 62

Implications for gender reform 65


5 An iron man 69

Being a champion 70

Soft path, hard goal 74

The body and the self 76

Wanting to win: The ideology of competitive sport 80

Reflections 83

6 'I threw it like a girl': Some difficulties with male bodies 86

Looking at jelly: Adam Singer 87

Burning up the body: Tip Southern 94

Reflections 99

7 Man to man: Homosexual desire and practice among working-class men (written with M.D. Davis and G.W. Dowsett) 102

The working-class setting 104

The social framework of male-to-male sex 108

Sexual practice 114

Desire and identity 118

The HIV/AIDS epidemic 122

Reflections 126


8 Cool guys, swots and wimps 131

Getting into trouble 133

Knowing where you stand 136

Over the hump 139

Dry sciences 141

Reading feminism 143

Reflections 145

9 Teaching the boys 148

Schools and gender 150

Schools as agents in the making of masculinities 155

Pupils as agents, school as setting 161

Educational strategies in work with boys 164

The process of change 172

10 Men's health 177

Research evidence on men's health 178

Sex differences in health 179

The health of specific groups of men 182

How some masculinizing practices damage bodies 184

Attempts to make men's bodies healthy 188

The 'cradle to grave' health disadvantage of men 192

Reflections 194


11 The politics of change in masculinity 199

The historical moment 201

Men's interests 202

Purposes 205

A men's movement? 208

12 Arms and the man: The question of peace 212

Why war? 212

The problem of men and violence 213

Implications of masculinity research 216

Global patterns 220

Peace strategies and masculinities 223

Acknowledgments and sources 227

References 231

Index 247

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Raewyn Connell University Professor, University of Sydney.
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