New PDF release: Masculine Identities: The History and Meanings of Manliness

By Herbert Sussman

ISBN-10: 0313391602

ISBN-13: 9780313391606

Within the classical Athens of Plato and Pericles, erotic relatives among young people and grownup men--what we now revile as pedophilia--was the marker of manliness; a transparent instance of ways ideas of masculinity shift. Even inside of sleek western society, there are conflicting beliefs for males; they're anticipated to be either competitive and unemotional in company, and delicate and worrying as a father and lover.

"Masculine Identities: The heritage and Meanings of Manliness" offers a entire attention of what "being a man" has intended through the years. a desirable learn for women and men alike, it examines masculine identities that emerged long ago and proceed into the current, corresponding to the warrior, the democratic guy, the craftsman, the self-made guy of industrial, in addition to ethnic different types of manliness. The paintings concludes by means of interpreting the modern problems with male sexuality, same-sex id, and the conflicts inside males within the sleek international.

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30 Masculine Identities War change you, changes you. Strips you, strips you of all your beliefs, your religion, takes your dignity away, you become an animal. I know that animals don’t. . 19 The berserk state with its accession of physical power, sense of personal invulnerability, lessening of the social taboos against killing, and loss of the controls of social life is invaluable to the survival and power of men in combat. And yet this explosive rage and violence that lies at the heart of warrior identity poses enormous problems for the warrior himself and for his society.

The word bond is too weak for the feeling of men in battle. Nor is the word friendship adequate. Clouded by the contemporary fear of homosexuality, we are reluctant to use the word love with its overtones of sexual physical attraction. But when the soldiers in the isolated outpost of Restropo dance with each other or wrestle partly nude, as did the Greek warriors at Patroclus’s funeral rites, this cannot be seen as homosexuality but as a bond for which we have no name. 11 Perhaps the best terms we have for male affection in battle engage the terms brother and brotherhood in an analogy with the intensity and nonsexual nature of family feeling.

A man avoided shame by performing his duties as citizen of a democracy. A man’s worth was validated by visible actions in the public and domestic spheres and on the battlefield. Manliness was located not deep in the soul nor regulated by internalized guilt, but manifested in public performance judged by fellow citizens. For the Athenian citizen, the sense of self flourished by following his society’s code of manly behavior. ”4 This first democracy, then, generated the ideal of man as citizen. In the more than two thousand years since the establishment of Athenian democracy, this ideal form of democratic manhood—a belief in duty to the state, the developed mind, intellectual suppleness, the oratorical ability to persuade fellow citizens in counsel, and physical courage in battle—has provided a model, as the lives of our own American founding fathers testify, for the identity of man in a democratic society.

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Masculine Identities: The History and Meanings of Manliness by Herbert Sussman

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