Emphasises the social construction of gender and racial identities; and dispels popular myths about the crisis in masculinity.
Failing at school, disadvantaged in a changing labour market, and characterized by policy-makers as thugs, young men are said by some to be experiencing a crisis of masculinity. In Redundant Masculinities? Linda McDowell, known for her path-breaking work on gender relations and identities, investigates this crisis as it relates to young working-class men in the West. The book focuses on a case study of young, white, male school leavers, based in the contrasting British cities of Cambridge and Sheffield. Drawing on a range of disciplinary approaches as well as interviews with the young men over the course of 18 months, it looks at the level of anxiety unskilled school leavers suffer about their sense of themselves as men and as wage earners. McDowell's analysis brings together arguments about the social construction of identities and about economic restructuring to reveal that the so-called 'crisis of masculinity' is not what it seems.
List of Plates.List of Tables.Preface.1. IntroductionMale and Working Class.2. The Rise of Poor Work: Employment Restructuring and Changing Class and Gender Identities.3. The Contemporary Crisis Of Masculinity: It's Hard To Be(Come) A Man or The Problem of/for Boys.4. Living on The Edge: Marginal Lives In Cambridge and Sheffield.5. Leaving School: Pathways To Employment and Further Education.6. Actively Seeking Employment: Committed Workers and Reluctant Learners.7. Uncertain Transitions: Accidental and Incidental Workers, The Excluded and Escape Attempts.8. Performing Identity: Protest and Domestic Masculinities.9. Conclusions: What Is To Be Done About Boys?Postscript.Appendix 1: Research Methodology.Appendix 2: The Participants.Notes.Bibliography.Index.