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.

Engendering Violence: Starting Points

Engendering violence: Starting points

The pressures to speak and act violently are everywhere…. Violence is not a deviant act; it is a conforming one.

—Michele Toomey

Murder is not weak and slow-witted. Murder is gutsy and daring.

—Luke Woodham, convicted schoolboy killer

Witness this: A 16-year-old male student, unable to tolerate rejection by a girlfriend or bullying by his peers, arms himself and goes to school. There, in the bright light of an October morning, he enters the crowded commons area, pulls a rifle from beneath his coat, and kills his former girlfriend. He also kills the girl standing next to her. Continuing on his lethal mission, he shoots and wounds several other students. He apologizes to one of his wounded victims, saying that he is ...

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