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,
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I try to show the forces that shaped the cultural definition of manhood , how it changed over time , and the ways in which cultural prescriptions about the meaning of manhood were bound up with those social and cultural forces .
By gender I mean the sets of cultural meanings and prescriptions that each culture attaches to one's biological sex ... pioneer homesteaders , or housewives to carve out lives of meaning and dignity in a world controlled by men .
In our psychological development , the theory goes , those relationships and experiences that give life meaning , that make us feel full , satisfied , secure , are snatched from us , leaving us insecure , frightened , and desperate .
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