• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This book explores the relationship between masculinity and violence within the context of cultural change and escalating violence. This unique analysis links the growing sociological and psychological literature on masculinity with contemporary criminological research. The author focuses on: A critical examination of the major biological, psychological, sociological, and anthropological models of masculinity and violence; Formulating an integrated theoretical approach to the relationship between violence and masculinity; Violence as a gendered activity; Representations of violence and masculinity in popular culture including cartoons, fiction, television and film. Masculine identity is not viewed as rigid, but as flexible and changeable. This position enables the author to take a completely fresh look at relations between power, privilege, and gender.

Boys on Film: Masculinities and the Cinema
Boys on film: Masculinities and the cinema

Masculinity is an effect of culture—a construction, a performance, a masquerade—rather than a universal and unchanging essence.

—Steve Cohan and Rae Harke

Emotions. There ought to be a law against them.

—Judge Dredd

Inspired by a boys' comic and situated in the future, the film Judge Dredd (1995) explores several themes: the rule of law, conformity and obedience, the kinship between flesh and machine, and the new reproductive technologies. The film also presents some clear and unequivocal images of masculinity. Threaded throughout the film are startling depictions of men—men as extraordinarily violent, men as domineering and brutal, and men as devoid of the taint of affect, to name a few.

The film describes an orthodox moral struggle ...

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