Spaces of Masculinities (Criticalgeographies) by B. Van Hoven

By B. Van Hoven

Altering situations in Western and international societies have brought new constraints and possibilities for males and the formation of male identities. in the meantime, the rising variety of 'atypical' identities ('atypical' compared to conventional conceptions of middle-class, white, heterosexual males) poses new demanding situations for the construction and use of areas. areas of Masculinities offers a complete creation to the leading edge and various learn on areas of masculinity. Drawing on quite a few geographical learn initiatives, the crucial main issue of the publication is to focus on the importance of analysis on masculinity in sociological and geographical paintings facing buildings of gender.

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Occupations such as logging, mining, steveodoring, and railway and road construction that were typical of the early development of the region were physically demanding and sometimes mind-numbing. It required a grim toughness to survive them and the living conditions in the camps and early towns. Moreover, work sites were almost completely male in terms of their gender composition. These conditions, together with the cooperation between workers required by the labour processes involved, and the solidarity built through the struggles between local workers and their employers, meant that the male friendship group became an important source of identity and support for many working-class men.

Men continually (re)define themselves as something that women—or less highly valued versions of masculinity—are not; masculinity is constructed in opposition to sets of characteristics that are regarded as inferior. Thus, in his empirical work with young men, Mac an Ghaill has noted that ‘what emerges as of particular salience is the way in which heterosexual young men are involved in a double relationship: of disparaging the ‘other’, including women and, and at the same time, expelling femininity and homosexuality from within themselves’ (1996:133).

The different values displayed and reproduced in the informal group are evident in other ways as well. There is an interesting correspondence between the competitive element of sport and the competitive features of a capitalist mode of production. Among the informal groups that we have studied in northwestern Ontario, many of the preferred sports have quite a different feel. The competitive nature of games such as baseball or hockey is de-emphasized. Of course, individuals do like to win but the competitiveness is tempered by the overriding principle of fun.

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