The Meanings of Macho: Being a Man in Mexico City
In this compelling and readable study of machismo in one of Latin America's most populous cities, Matthew Gutmann overturns many stereotypes of male culture in Mexico. In their place he offers a sensitive, wide-ranging, often surprising look at how Mexican men see themselves, parent their children, relate to women, socialize among themselves, and talk about sex in their daily lives. Gutmann finds that men and women are responding to sweeping social forces in Mexico, just as they are in the United States, with women often initiating changes in male attitudes and behaviors. The Meanings of Macho takes the reader into Santo Domingo, Mexico City, the working-class neighborhood where Gutmann and his family lived. Exploring women's conceptions about men as well as men's ideas about themselves, Gutmann uncovers intriguing, complicated sexual politics among friends and informants. He discovers that, against stereotype, many men's nuanced, complicated sense of sexual identity encompasses considerable child care responsibilities and recognition of a newfound female autonomy. He also considers the kinds of homosocial space men are afforded in their culture, how violence against women plays itself out in this community, and the role of alcohol in male socializing.
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