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Male Trouble
By Stephen Tomsen, Mike Donaldson

"It's now a familiar observation that notions of Australian identity have been almost entirely constructed around images of men--the convict shaking his shackled fist; the heroic explorer facing inland; the bushman plodding down a dusty track; the digger scrambling up the slopes of Gallipoli; Bradman and McCabe facing the bodyline attack; Midget Farrelly swooping down the wave-face; front bars, shearing sheds, the Glenrowan Hotel. There are not many women in this world;. But there are very definite ideas about masculinity." (R. W. Connell, Introduction)

Male Trouble: Looking at Australian Masculinities is an antidote to all the drum-beating of traditional Australian maleness, offering the best current sociological research on masculinities through a diverse range of essays. It works from the premise that the trouble with the so-called men's movement and the self-help groups that seek to reconcile men to their 'natural masculinity' is that they ignore masculine power and how it is grounded in social institutions, collective practices and shared histories. Men have behaved differently in different times and places, and it's wrong to believe in an essential male sex role or identity.

Exploring subjects as various as male car culture, 'protest masculinity' among Lebanese youth, violence against women and other men, homophobia, and male identity in military culture and in sport, Male Trouble deploys tools from feminist, queer and critical Left perspectives to analyse gender and sexuality and reflect on the importance of political reality in shaping maleness. It combines lucid ethnographic accounts of masculinities with discussion of the cultural and political complexity of gender relations in contemporary Australia.

Stephen Tomsen is a senior lecturer in social sciences at the University of Newcastle. He has conducted studies on masculinity, crime and violence, and recently authored Hatred, Murder and Male Honour: Anti-homosexual Killings in New South Wales, 1980-2000 (Australian Institute of Criminology, 2002).

Mike Donaldson was formerly head of sociology at Wollongong University and is currently New South Wales State Secretary of the National Tertiary Education Union. He has conducted research on gender and social class and (with Scott Poynting) is completing a book on masculinity and men from ruling-class backgrounds.

ISBN: 1864031212

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