Guyland

Guyland

4.4 10
by Michael Kimmel
     
 

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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

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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.

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.)

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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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061873775
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/13/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
254,350
File size:
487 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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Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
cpmdfm More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
dawnmrowan More than 1 year ago
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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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a good read. The research on the culture of hooking up is particularly interesting.