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In the new edition's substantial new introduction and conclusion, Connell discusses the development of masculinity studies in the ten years since the book's initial publication. He explores global gender relations, new theories, and practical uses of masculinity research. Looking to the future, his new concluding chapter addresses the politics of masculinities, and the implications of masculinity research as a way of understanding current world issues. Against the backdrop of an increasingly divided world, one that is presently dominated by neo-conservative politics, Connell's account highlights a series of compelling questions about the future of human society.
This second edition of Connell's classic book will be essential reading for students taking courses on masculinities and gender studies and will be of interest to students and scholars across the humanities and social sciences.
lurid contradictions of transsexual lives, this is unquestionably a normalizing theory. It locates identifica tion with women not in the unconscious of all men, but in a specific deviant group. (It is not surprising that men wanting sex reassignment surgery take great care, as the sociologist Anne Bolin has shown, to conform to the doctors ' beliefs about feminine dress and conduct. ) In a biting critique, Robert May has ques tioned whether this is a psychoanalytic theory at all. May argues
conventional terms in social science.36 There are two ways in which the role concept can be applied to gender. In one, the roles are seen as specific to definite situations. For instance Mirra Komarovsky, in her classic study of American working-class families Blue Collar Marriage ( 1964) , offered detailed descriptions of script-following in courtship and within marriage. Much more common, however, is the second approach, in which being a man or a woman means enacting a general set of
audiences to perform to, and (c) the stakes are not too high (so it is feasible that some kind of performing is the main social activity going on) . None of these conditions, as a rule, applies to gender relations. ' Sex role' is basically an inappropriate metaphor for gender interactions. (One can, of course, think of specific sit uations in gender interaction where roles are definitely played. Ballroom dancing competitions spring to mind - as in the charm ing film Strictly Ballroom. ) I n sex
knife on them'. At the group level, the collective practice of masculinity becomes a performance too. Eel's parties have witnesses - the silenced women, the cops outside - j ust as the bikers out riding together are witnessed by straight people. �Vvhatever one thinks of the script, it has to be acknowledged as a skilled, finely pitched production mounted on a shoestring. The trouble is that the performance is not leading anywhere. None of the five has much sense of an indi"idual or a shared
lessons, we'd go out on the same days . . . Did people in the school know about it ? Oh God no. No. Absolutely not. I don't know how, but no. From then on, Mark's choice of men as erotic obj ects has never been in doubt. This is not a fetishistic fixation on a particular feature of the , object. Rather it is a consolidation of Mark's sexual practice around the relationship, creating a structure which Mark trans ferred as a whole to later attachments. Mark's sex life has, accord ingly, been