Manhood in the Making: Cultural Concepts of Masculinity

TitleManhood in the Making: Cultural Concepts of Masculinity
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1990
AuthorsGilmore, David D.
Number of Pages258
PublisherYale University Press
CityNew Haven, CT

In the first cross-cultural study of manhood as an achieved status, anthropologist David Gilmore finds that a culturally sanctioned stress on manliness—on toughness and aggressiveness, stoicism and sexuality—is almost universal, deeply ingrained in the consciousness of hunters and fishermen, workers and warriors, poets and peasants who have little else in common. Using insights from anthropology, neo-Freudian ego psychology, and feminist studies, Gilmore investigates why this is so. He compares manhood ideals in cultures as diverse as those of Japan, India, China, the Mediterranean lands, aboriginal South America, ancient Greece, and modern North America. He also describes two "androgynous" cultures that are exceptions to the manhood archetype, cultures in which manhood as a behavioral category distinct from femininity is virtually unknown. 

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