Donald Tuzin first studied the New Guinea village of Ilahita in 1972. When he returned many years later, he arrived in the aftermath of a startling event: the village’s men voluntarily destroyed their secret cult that had allowed them to dominate women for generations. The cult’s collapse indicated nothing less than the death of masculinity, and Tuzin examines the labyrinth of motives behind this improbable, self-devastating act. The villagers' mythic tradition provided a basis for this revenge of Woman upon the dominion of Man, and, remarkably, Tuzin himself became a principal figure in its narratives. The return of the magic-bearing "youngest brother" from America had been prophesied, and the villagers believed that Tuzin’s return "from the dead" signified a further need to destroy masculine traditions.
The Cassowary's Revenge is an intimate account of how Ilahita’s men and women think, emote, dream, and explain themselves. Tuzin also explores how the death of masculinity in a remote society raises disturbing implications for gender relations in our own society. In this light Tuzin's book is about men and women in search of how to value one another, and in today's world there is no theme more universal or timely.
In a sensitive and provocative
study of six great works of British literature, David Rosen traces the evolution
of masculinity, inviting readers to contemplate the shifting joys and sorrows
men have experienced throughout the last millennium, and the changing but constant
tensions between their lives and ideals. Focusing on Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Hamlet, Paradise Lost, Hard Times, and Sons and Lovers, Rosen shows how the actions of heroes fail to resolve tensions between
masculine ideals and male experiences.
Ranging from fatherhood to machismo and from public health to housework, Changing Men and Masculinitiesin Latin America is a collection of pioneering studies of what it means to be a man in Latin America. Matthew C. Gutmann brings together essays by well-known U.S. Latin Americanists and newly translated essays by noted Latin American scholars. Historically grounded and attuned to global political and economic changes, this collection investigates what, if anything, is distinctive about and common to masculinity across Latin America at the same time that it considers the relative benefits and drawbacks of studies focusing on men there. Demonstrating that attention to masculinities does not thwart feminism, the contributors illuminate the changing relationships between men and women and among men of different ethnic groups, sexual orientations, and classes.
The contributors look at Mexico, Argentina, Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Chile, and the United States. They bring to bear a number of disciplines—anthropology, history, literature, public health, and sociology—and a variety of methodologies including ethnography, literary criticism, and statistical analysis. Whether analyzing rape legislation in Argentina, the unique space for candid discussions of masculinity created in an Alcoholics Anonymous group in Mexico, the role of shame in shaping Chicana and Chicano identities and gender relations, or homosexuality in Brazil, Changing Men and Masculinities highlights the complex distinctions between normative conceptions of masculinity in Latin America and the actual experiences and thoughts of particular men and women. Contributors. Xavier Andrade, Daniel Balderston, Peter Beattie, Stanley Brandes, Héctor Carrillo, Miguel Díaz Barriga, Agustín Escobar, Francisco Ferrándiz, Claudia Fonseca, Norma Fuller, Matthew C. Gutmann, Donna Guy, Florencia Mallon, José Olavarría, Richard Parker, Mara Viveros
Class Acts explores the development of lifestyle marketing from the 1960s to the 1990s. During this time, young men began manipulating their identities by taking on the mannerisms, culture, and fashion of the working class and poor. These style choices had contradictory meanings. At once they were acts of rebellion by middleclass young men against their social stratum and its rules of masculinity and also examples of the privilege that allowed them to try on different identities for amusement or as a rite of passage. Starting in the 1960s, advertisers and marketers, looking for new ways to appeal to young people, seized on the idea of identity as a choice, creating the field of lifestyle marketing.
Mary Rizzo traces the development of the concept of lifestyle marketing, showing how marketers disconnected class identity from material reality, focusing instead on a person’s attitudes, opinions, and behaviors. The book includes discussions of the rebel of the 1950s, the hippie of the 1960s, the white suburban hip-hop fan of the 1980s, and the poverty chic of the 1990s. Class Acts illuminates how the concept of “lifestyle,” particularly as expressed through fashion, has disconnected social class from its material reality and diffused social critique into the opportunity to simply buy another identity. The book will appeal to scholars and other readers who are interested in American cultural history, youth culture, fashion, and style.
Conjuring Freedom: Music and Masculinity in the Civil War’s “Gospel Army” analyzes the songs of the 1st South Carolina Volunteers, a regiment of Black soldiers who met nightly in the performance of the ring shout. In this study, acknowledging the importance of conjure as a religious, political, and epistemological practice, Johari Jabir demonstrates how the musical performance allowed troop members to embody new identities in relation to national citizenship, militarism, and masculinity in more inclusive ways. Jabir also establishes how these musical practices of the regiment persisted long after the Civil War in Black culture, resisting, for instance, the paternalism and co-optive state antiracism of the film Glory, and the assumption that Blacks need to be deracinated to be full citizens.
Reflecting the structure of the ring shout—the counterclockwise song, dance, drum, and story in African American history and culture—Conjuring Freedom offers three new concepts to cultural studies in order to describe the practices, techniques, and implications of the troop’s performance: (1) Black Communal Conservatories, borrowing from Robert Farris Thompson’s “invisible academies” to describe the structural but spontaneous quality of black music-making, (2) Listening Hermeneutics, which accounts for the generative and material affects of sound on meaning-making, and (3) Sonic Politics, which points to the political implications of music’s use in contemporary representations of race and history.
In seven representative episodes of black masculine literary and cultural history—from the founding of the first African American Masonic lodge in 1775 to the 1990s choreographies of modern dance genius Bill T. Jones—Constructing the Black Masculine maps black men’s historical efforts to negotiate the frequently discordant relationship between blackness and maleness in the cultural logic of American identity. Maurice O. Wallace draws on an impressive variety of material to investigate the survivalist strategies employed by black men who have had to endure the disjunction between race and masculinity in American culture. Highlighting their chronic objectification under the gaze of white eyes, Wallace argues that black men suffer a social and representational crisis in being at once seen and unseen, fetish and phantasm, spectacle and shadow in the American racial imagination. Invisible and disregarded on one hand, black men, perceived as potential threats to society, simultaneously face the reality of hypervisibility and perpetual surveillance. Paying significant attention to the sociotechnologies of vision and image production over two centuries, Wallace shows how African American men—as soldiers, Freemasons, and romantic heroes—have sought both to realize the ideal image of the American masculine subject and to deconstruct it in expressive mediums like modern dance, photography, and theatre. Throughout, he draws on the experiences and theories of such notable figures as Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. Du Bois, Booker T. Washington, and James Baldwin.
In the late nineteenth century, general-interest magazines began to reach an unprecedented number of readers and conveyed to those readers diverse messages about the meaning of masculinity in America. Over the next fifty years, these messages narrated a shift from Victorian masculinity, which valued character, integrity, hard work, and duty, to modern masculinity, which valued personality, self-realization, and image. In Creating the Modern Man, Tom Pendergast studies the multifaceted ways that masculinity is represented in magazines published during this transitional period.
Pendergast focuses on the rise of mass consumer culture, demonstrating that consumerism was a key factor in reshaping American notions of masculinity as presented in popular magazines. Whereas much scholarship has decried the effects of consumerism, Pendergast treats consumer culture as an energizing force in the American magazine market. He suggests that such magazines offered men new and meaningful visions of masculine identity and argues that men actively participated in restructuring the masculine ideal. Engaging a wide range of magazines from American Magazine to Esquire to True, Pendergast demonstrates how these publications presented masculinity in ways that reflected the magazines' relationship to advertisers, contributors, and readers.
This fascinating study includes such African American magazines as the Colored American, Crisis, Opportunity, and Ebony. Pendergast reasons that the rise of modern masculinity opened the way for African American men to identify with normative masculine values. As white men reinvented the idea of the "self-made man" for a new era, black men struggled to negotiate a meaningful place for black masculinity in a culture intent on denying them access.
The first complete investigation of the representation of men in American magazines, Creating the Modern Man makes an important contribution to our understanding of these publications, both as elements of mass culture and as interesting institutions in their own right. Pendergast takes readers inside the complex world of magazine publishing, demonstrating how magazines slowly yet surely help create the cultural images that shape societal gender roles.
Given the limited economic opportunities in rural Nepal, the desire of young men of all income and education levels, castes and ethnicities to migrate has never been higher. Crossing the Border to India provides an ethnography of male labor migration from the western hills of Nepal to Indian cities. Jeevan Sharma shows how a migrant’s livelihood and gender, as well as structural violence impacts his perceptions, experiences, and aspirations.
Based on long-term fieldwork, Sharma captures the actual experiences of crossing the border. He shows that Nepali migration to India does not just allow young men from poorer backgrounds to “save there and eat here,” but also offers a strategy to escape the more regimented social order of the village. Additionally, migrants may benefit from the opportunities offered by the “open-border” between India and Nepal to attain independence and experience a distant world. However, Nepali migrants are subjected to high levels of ill treatment. Thus, while the idea of freedom remains extremely important in Nepali men’s migration decisions, their actual experience is often met with unfreedom and suffering.
The English middle class in the late nineteenth century enjoyed an increase in the availability and variety of material goods. With that, the visual markers of class membership and manly behavior underwent a radical change. In The Cut of His Coat: Men, Dress, and Consumer Culture in Britain, 1860–1914, Brent Shannon examines familiar novels by authors such as George Eliot, Anthony Trollope, Thomas Hughes, and H. G. Wells, as well as previously unexamined etiquette manuals, period advertisements, and fashion monthlies, to trace how new ideologies emerged as mass-produced clothes, sartorial markers, and consumer culture began to change.
While Victorian literature traditionally portrayed women as having sole control of class representations through dress and manners, Shannon argues that middle-class men participated vigorously in fashion. Public displays of their newly acquired mannerisms, hairstyles, clothing, and consumer goods redefined masculinity and class status for the Victorian era and beyond.
The Cut of His Coat probes the Victorian disavowal of men's interest in fashion and shopping to recover men's significant role in the representation of class through self-presentation and consumer practices.