Masculinity in the Modern West: Gender, Civilization and the Body
Across the Western world "crisis" is the word most commonly used to describe the state of masculinity today, but how new is this idea? Can we identify a time when masculinity was actually stable and secure? Masculinity in the Modern West engages with these questions by examining how traditional ideals about male physical prowess have clashed with the lifestyle changes that accompanied the rise of modern civilization since 1700. In countries like America, Britain, France, Germany and Russia, modernity bolstered male dominance in commerce, politics, technology and the world of ideas; yet images of masculinity have continued to be haunted by the negative effects that polite, cerebral, consumerist and sedentary lifestyles might have on the minds and bodies of men. Modernity thus exercises a double logic that supports male privilege while diminishing the physical difference used to legitimate that privilege. By focusing on the male body, this wide-ranging study proposes that "crises" of masculinity may be structural, and thus inescapable, features of life in our world.
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Four Faces of Civilization c 15001750
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American Angus McLaren anxieties become behavior bodily bourgeois Britain British Cambridge Caspar Barlaeus Chicago Press civilizing process claimed comfort concept consumer consumption corporeal crisis culture discourses duel early modern effeminacy effeminate eighteenth century elites emerging European exercise fantasies fascist feminine feminizing Fight Club Figure France Freemasonry French G.W.F. Hegel gender German History homosexuality hygiene Hypochondria ical ideal identity images imagined Jews John Journal labor less lifestyles London luxury machine male body man's manhood manly manners martial masculinity masturbation mental metrosexual middle-class military moral muscular nation nature nineteenth century nobles observed pain Palgrave Paris physical physicians pleasure political popular potential primitive promoted R.W. Connell refined reformers regeneration role Routledge Roy Porter sedentary seemed sensual sexual sexual dimorphism social society sodomy soft Steven Shapin suggests tensions threatened tion trans University of Chicago urban violence virility warrior Western women York