Masculinities and the Law: A Multidimensional Approach


According to masculinities theory, masculinity is not a biological imperative but a social construction. Men engage in a constant struggle with other men to prove their masculinity. Masculinities and the Law develops a multidimensional approach. It sees categories of identity—including various forms of raced, classed, and sex-oriented masculinities—as operating simultaneously and creating different effects in different contexts.

By applying multidimensional masculinities theory ...

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Masculinities and the Law: A Multidimensional Approach

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According to masculinities theory, masculinity is not a biological imperative but a social construction. Men engage in a constant struggle with other men to prove their masculinity. Masculinities and the Law develops a multidimensional approach. It sees categories of identity—including various forms of raced, classed, and sex-oriented masculinities—as operating simultaneously and creating different effects in different contexts.

By applying multidimensional masculinities theory to law, this cutting-edge collection both expands the field of masculinities and develops new thinking about important issues in feminist and critical race theories. The topics covered include how norms of masculinity influence the behavior of policemen, firefighters, and international soldiers on television and in the real world; employment discrimination against masculine cocktail waitresses and all transgendered employees; the legal treatment of fathers in the U.S. and the ways unauthorized migrant fathers use the dangers of border crossing to boost their masculine esteem; how Title IX fails to curtail the masculinity of sport; the racist assumptions behind the prison rape debate; the surprising roots of homophobia in Jamaican dancehall music; and the contradictions of the legal debate over women veiling in Turkey. Ultimately, the book argues that multidimensional masculinities theory can change how law is interpreted and applied.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"In this compelling collection of essays, leading scholars bring new insights to longstanding questions about the role and meaning of masculinity. From a variety of theoretical perspectives, these authors explore the ways that gender influences conceptions of manhood, and how they differ by race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Masculinities and the Law offers a breadth and depth of analysis that reshapes our understanding of gender roles and relationships."-Deborah L. Rhode,Ernest W. McFarland Professor of Law, Stanford Law School

"This progressive collection is a must read for both beginners and experts. The cutting edge contributors are to be congratulated for taking a multidimensional approach to masculinity theory and the law on the national and global levels. Going beyond male bashing, the volume provides the nuanced analysis necessary for a twenty-first century understanding of the complexities of gender."-Adrien Katherine Wing,Bessie Dutton Murray Professor of Law, University of Iowa College of Law

“McGinley and Cooper’s smartly organized anthology shows how masculinities theory is key to the development of a new legal feminism. The book critically examines what lies beneath a range of masculine veneers, from elite corporate types, to hypermasculine working-class men to the 'cool pose' of inner city teenagers. By giving equal time to race, sexuality, class and gender the book practices what it preaches: a commitment to a multidimensional concept of identity that constantly changes perspective to confront pressing social issues in full context. With attention to law, policy, and civil rights advocacy, the book takes on domestic debates about racial profiling, single-sex schools, rape in prison, grooming codes, and women in sports before moving to dissect gender controversies around the globe. Critical scholars will especially appreciate the book’s sophisticated take on performance theory, intersectionality and privilege.”-Martha Chamallas,Robert J. Lynn Chair in Law, The Ohio State University

"Exciting, sophisticated, and provocative, the essays in this book illustrate the full range and power of masculinities theory as it comes of age in legal scholarship. While resisting the urge to claim a 'theory of everything,' the contributors make clear that familiarity with masculinities studies is a must for all those doing work in the intersections of gender, class, race, citizenship, sexuality, and law. This book successfully transcends disciplinary boundaries, resists the demonization of feminism, and points the way toward a truly counter-disciplinary and liberatory conversation about the fetters conventional masculinity places on us all."-Angela P. Harris,UC Davis School of Law

"A stirring array of essays on the causes and consequences of 'hegemonic masculinity' as a pervasive socio-legal system. While centering the role of law in this hegemony, the authors deploy multidimensional theory and analysis to show its power in varied contexts or local economies. This compelling collection takes masculinities studies to the next level."-Francisco Valdes,University of Miami

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814769690
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 8/27/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 315
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Frank Rudy Cooper is Professor of Law at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts.

Ann C. McGinley is the William S. Boyd Professor of Law at the William S. Boyd School of Law of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Michael S. Kimmel is Professor of Sociology at SUNY, Stony Brook and author of Manhood in America.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Foreword Michael Kimmel xiii

Introduction: Masculinities, Multidimensionality, and Law: Why They Need One Another Ann C. McGinley Frank Rudy Cooper 1

Part I Theorizing Multidimensional Masculinities

1 Feminist Legal Theory Meets Masculinities Theory Nancy E. Dowd Nancy Levit Ann C. McGinley 25

2 Masculinity by Law Devon W. Carbado 51

3 The Multidimensional Turn: Revisiting Progressive Black Masculinities Athena D. Mutua 78

4 The King Stay the King: Multidimensional Masculinities and Capitalism in The Wire Frank Rudy Cooper 96

Part II Telling Stories About (Heroic) Masculinities

5 Rescue Me Robert Chang 119

6 Manliness's Paradox John M. Kang 136

7 Border-Crossing Stories and Masculinities Leticia M. Saucedo 146

Part III Questioning Segregation in Masculine Spaces

8 Sex Segregation, Masculinities, and Gender-Variant Individuals David S. Cohen 167

9 E-race-ing Gender: The Racial Construction of Prison Rape Kim Shayo Buchanan 187

10 Sport and Masculinity: The Promise and Limits of Title IX Deborah L. Brake 207

Part IV Constructing Masculinities in the Global Context

11 Masculinities and Child Soldiers in Post-Conflict Societies Fionnuala Ní Aoláin Naomi Cahn Dina Haynes 231

12 Sexuality without Borders: Exploring the Paradoxical Connection between Dancehall and Colonial Law in Jamaica Camille A. Nelson 252

13 Masculinities, Feminism, and the Turkish Headscarf Ban: Revisiting Sahin v. Turkey Valorie K. Vojdik 270

About the Contributors 291

Index 295

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