Misframing Men: The Politics of Contemporary Masculinities

Rutgers University Press
Free sample


This past decade has witnessed an extraordinary transformation in men's lives. For years, wave after wave of the women's movement, a movement that reshaped every aspect of American life, produced nary a ripple among men. But suddenly men are in the spotlight.

Yet, the public discussions often seem strained, silly, and sometimes flat-out wrong. The spotlight itself seems to obscure as much as it illuminates. Old tired clichTs about men's resistance to romantic commitment or reluctance to be led to the marriage altar seem perennially recyclable in advice books and on TV talk shows, but these days the laughter feels more forced, the defensiveness more pronounced. Pop biologists avoid careful confrontation with serious scientific research in their quest to find anatomical or evolutionary bases for promiscuity or porn addiction, hoping that by fiat, one can pronounce that "boys will be boys" and render it more than a flaccid tautology. And political pundits wring their hands about the feminization of American manhood, as if gender equality has neutered these formerly proud studs. Misframing Men, a collection of Michael Kimmel's commentaries on contemporary debates about masculinity, argues that the media have largely misframed this debate.

Kimmel, among the world's best-known scholars in gender studies, discusses political moments such as the Virginia Military Institute and Citadel cases that reached the Supreme Court (he participated as expert witness for the Justice Department) along with Promise Keepers rallies, mythopoetic gatherings, and white supremacists. He takes on antifeminists as the real male bashers, questions the unsubstantiated assertions that men suffer from domestic violence to the same degree as women, and examines the claims made by those who want to rescue boys from the "misandrous" reforms initiated by feminism.

In writings both solidly grounded and forcefully argued, Kimmel pushes the boundaries of today's modern conversation about men and masculinity.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Rutgers University Press
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Published on
May 20, 2010
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9780813549750
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Men's Studies
Social Science / Sociology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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The concept and reality of revolution continue to pose some of the most challenging and important questions in the world today. What causes revolution? Why do some people participate in revolutionary events while others do not? What is the role of religion and ideology in causing and sustaining revolution? Why do some revolutions succeed and some fail? These questions have preoccupied philosophers and social scientists for centuries. In Revolution, Michael S. Kimmel examines why the study of revolution has attained such importance and he provides a systematic historical analysis of key ideas and theories.The book surveys the classical perspectives on revolution offered by nineteenth- and early twentieth-century theorists, such as Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Tocqueville, and Freud. Kimmel argues that their perspectives on revolution were affected by the reality of living through the revolutions of 1848 and 1917, a reality that raised crucial issues of class, state, bureaucracy, and motivation.The author then turns to the interpretations of revolution offered by social scientists in the post-World War II period, especially modernization theory and social psychological theories. Here, he contends that the relative quiescence of the 1950s cast revolutions in a different light, which was poorly suited to explain the revolutionary upheavals that have marked the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. With reference to the work of Barrington Moore, Theda Skocpol, Immanuel Wallerstein, and Charles Tilly, among others, Kimmel develops the criteria for a structural theory of revolution. This lucid, accessible account includes contemporary analyses of the Nicaraguan, Iranian, and Angolan revolutions.
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