Manhood in America: A Cultural History
Oxford University Press, 2006 - 322 pages
For more than three decades, the women's movement and its scholars have exhaustively studied women's complex history, roles, and struggles. In Manhood in America, Second Edition, author Michael S. Kimmel--a leading authority in gender studies--argues that it is time for men to rediscover their own evolution. Drawing on a myriad of sources, including advice books, magazine columns, political pamphlets, and popular novels and films, he demonstrates that American men have been eternally frustrated by their efforts to keep up with constantly changing standards. Kimmel contends that men must follow the lead of the women's movement; it is only by mining their past for its best qualities and worst excesses that men will free themselves from the constraints of the masculine ideal.
Condensed and revised in this second edition, Manhood in America features updated chapters and examples that extend its coverage through the Bush administration. Touching on issues of masculinity as they pertain to current events, the book discusses such timely topics as post-9/11 politics, "self-made" masculinities (including those of Internet entrepreneurs), presidential campaigns, and gender politics. It also covers contemporary debates about fatherlessness, the biology of male aggression, and pop psychologists like John Gray and Dr. Laura. Outlining the various ways in which manhood has been constructed and portrayed in America, this engaging history is ideal as a main text for courses on masculinity or as a supplementary text for courses in gender studies and cultural history.
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