Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men [NOOK Book]

Overview

The passage from adolescence to adulthood was once clear. Today, growing up has become more complex and confusing, as young men drift casually through college and beyond—hanging out, partying, playing with tech toys, watching sports. But beneath the appearance of a simple extended boyhood, a more dangerous social world has developed, far away from the traditional signposts and cultural signals that once helped boys navigate their way to manhood—a territory Michael Kimmel has ...

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Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men

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Overview

The passage from adolescence to adulthood was once clear. Today, growing up has become more complex and confusing, as young men drift casually through college and beyond—hanging out, partying, playing with tech toys, watching sports. But beneath the appearance of a simple extended boyhood, a more dangerous social world has developed, far away from the traditional signposts and cultural signals that once helped boys navigate their way to manhood—a territory Michael Kimmel has identified as "Guyland."

In mapping the troubling social world where men are now made, Kimmel offers a view into the minds and times of America's sons, brothers, and boyfriends, and he works toward redefining what it means to be a man today—and tomorrow. Only by understanding this world and this life stage can we enable young men to chart their own paths, stay true to themselves, and emerge safely from Guyland as responsible and fully formed male adults.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

To a growing list of books about the myths and mysteries of American boys and young males, Kimmel, a sociologist and author of Manhood In America, adds this deft exploration grounded in research. Based on more than 400 interviews, over a four-year span, with young men ages 16-26, Kimmel's study shows that the guys who live in "Guyland" are mostly white, middle-class, totally confused and cannot commit to their relationships, work or lives. Although they seem baffled by the riddles of manhood and responsibility, they submit to the "Guy Code," where locker-room behaviors, sexual conquests, bullying, violence and assuming a cocky jock pose can rule over the sacrifice and conformity of marriage and family. Obsessed with never wanting to grow up, this demographic, which is 22 million strong, craves video games, sports and depersonalized sexual relationships. In the end, Kimmel offers a highly practical guide to male youth. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
Guys just wanna have fun. Kimmel (Sociology/SUNY Stony Brook; Manhood in America: A Cultural History, 2005, etc.) offers an engaging account of young males in the "Guyland" stage of life-the years between 16 and 26-when they are neither kids nor grown-ups but rather direction-less "guys" who shirk adult responsibilities and bond crudely with other males in the nonstop pursuit of sex, drinking, sports, video games and other amusements. Based on nearly 400 interviews with mainly white, middle-class, college-educated youths, the author's findings are at once commonsensical and provocative, demonstrating the prevalence of this lifestyle of entitlement and instant gratification. The book raises important questions about a "guy code" of silence that encourages them to disregard the sometimes extreme behaviors (binge drinking, bullying, predatory sex, etc.) of other males. Made possible by massive social and economic changes-the sexual revolution, delayed marriage and child-rearing, the poor job market-members of this 22-million-strong demographic live in the shared-apartments world of Friends, absorbed in escapist entertainment (porn, online poker), getting as much sex as they can, working in dead-end "McJobs" and avoiding serious, responsible lives as fathers and workers. Kimmel quotes guys from across the country to show the importance of "the cardinal rule of masculinity-"Don't cry," their obsession with sports talk ("the last 'pure' all-male space in America") and their reliance on their peers to usher them into adulthood. Parents with young-adult males living at home will immediately recognize these guys, who stay up all hours with media, engage in casual sex and maintain a manly frontat all times with the putdown, "That's so gay." Bored, anxious, uncertain and ill-prepared for emotional intimacy, they are in need of adult mentoring and a new model of masculinity, says Kimmel, one that encourages them to live more consciously and honorably while permitting "wholesome occasional irresponsibility."A useful, highly readable overview of an important social phenomenon.
Gloria Steinem
“Michael Kimmel’s Guyland could save the humanity of many young men-and the sanity of their friends and parents-by explaining the forces behind a newly extended adolesence. With accuracy and empathy, he names the problem and offers compassionate bridges to adulthood.”
Mary Pipher
“Just as Reviving Ophelia introduced readers to the culture of teenage girls, Guyland takes us to the land of young men.”
Madeline Levine
“An absolute bombshell of a book. A disturbing, but mandatory wake-up call for all of us who are boys, love boys or raise boys.”
Arlie Hochschild
Kimmel calls on us all to see the boy in the pseudo-man, to break the silence with which we surround them, and do what it takes to help them grow into real men.”
Rachel Simmons
“For anyone who has ever longed to know what’s really going on in a young man’s life, rejoice: Guyland is a compassionate, unflinching dispatch from deep in the heart of young masculinity. Required reading for people who raise, teach, and love guys.”
Michael G. Thompson
“Every parent who is about to write a check for college tuition should read this book first and discuss it with his or her son...and daughter.”
William Pollack
“Guyland takes up where Real Boys left off...a must-read for parents, teachers, coaches, young women who are so confused by the guys in their midst-and for guys themselves who yearn to break free of unwritten rules that leave them half a man, rather than a whole person.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061873775
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 228,974
  • File size: 476 KB

Meet the Author

A leading scholar in the field of gender studies, Michael Kimmel is author or editor of more than twenty volumes on the subject, including the groundbreaking Manhood in America. A professor of sociology, he teaches at State University of New York, Stony Brook, and lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.

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Table of Contents

1 Welcome to Guyland 1

2 "What's the Rush?": Guyland as a New Stage of Development 24

3 "Bros Before Hos": The Guy Code 44

4 High School: Boot Camp for Guyland 70

5 The Rites of Almost-Men: Binge Drinking, Fraternity Hazing, and the Elephant Walk 95

6 Sports Crazy 123

7 Boys and Their Toys: Guyland's Media 144

8 Babes in Boyland: Pornography 169

9 Hooking Up: Sex in Guyland 190

10 Predatory Sex and Party Rape 217

11 Girls in Guyland: Eyes on the Guys 242

12 "Just Guys" 265

Endnotes 291

Index 317

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    Sad, true, but hopeful

    Insightful research by the author written in a way that's sympathetic to the subject matter but firm in its interpretation that bad behavior requires correction.
    Accurately identifies both problems and potential solutions in a clear, readable way without talking down to the reader or villifying the individuals in question.
    A must-read for parents of pre-adolescent boys, as a means of forearming themselves against the coming years and guiding their children through them; women, as a means of understanding male behavior and protecting themselves from the lesser aspects of it; and teachers, who will face these issues daily.
    And on a less intellectual note... my personal opinion of the subject matter in this book is that the display of selfishness, ignorance, and entitlement is nothing short of tragic, both for these perpetual man-children who are unable to function as adults in society and for me having to share the planet with them.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 10, 2012

    Highly recommended

    This is a book which should be read by any parent of a college aged son...or for that matter, daughter. Kimmel writes in a humorous yet searing way that illustrates the challenges of becoming a man (or not) in today's world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2012

    Explains a lot

    This was a good read. The research on the culture of hooking up is particularly interesting.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 30, 2011

    Every parent of a son needs to read this book.

    Any parent who has ever questioned just exactly why "boys will be boys" will find the answer in Kimmel's Guyland. This highly informative book provides a clear cut account of what it is like to become a man in American society today. Kimmel does not provide excuses for a prolonged adolescence and inability to "grow up" for men, but rather explains why this attitude exists and what can be done in order to create change in how boys become men.

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    Posted April 12, 2010

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