Manhood Impossible: Men's Struggles to Control and Transform their Bodies and Work

Manhood Impossible: Men's Struggles to Control and Transform their Bodies and Work

by Scott Melzer


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In Manhood Impossible, Scott Melzer argues that boys’ and men’s bodies and breadwinner status are the two primary sites for their expression of control. Controlling selves and others, and resisting being dominated and controlled is most connected to men’s bodies and work. However, no man can live up to these culturally ascendant ideals of manhood. The strategies men use to manage unmet expectations often prove toxic, not only for men themselves, but also for other men, women, and society. Melzer strategically explores the lives of four groups of adult men struggling with contemporary body and breadwinner ideals. These case studies uncover men’s struggles to achieve and maintain manhood, and redefine what it means to be a man.  

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813584898
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication date: 08/31/2018
Edition description: None
Pages: 292
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 17 - 18 Years

About the Author

SCOTT MELZER is a professor of sociology and chair of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Albion College in Michigan. He is the author of Gun Crusaders: The NRA's Culture War.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Manhood Dilemma
Part I The Body Dilemma
1          Ritual Violence in a Two-Car Garage
2          Fighting Back
3          Seeking Growth: The Penis Health Club
4          Compensating for Body Failures
Part II The Breadwinner Dilemma
5          Non-Breadwinners: Unemployed Men and Stay-at-home Dads
6          Unemployment Blues and Backlash
7          Redefining Manhood: Stay-at-home Dads as Real Men
Part III The Future of the Manhood Dilemma
Conclusion: Making Manhood Possible
Appendix: Studying Men and Manhood

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