Some time ago, I heard sociologist Michael Kimmel being interviewed on CBC radio. He was talking about his newest book, Guyland. Immediately, I was intrigued; as an undergraduate, I loved my sociology classes - especially the ones about gender.
Once I laid my hands on the book, I couldn’t put it down! I read it on the C-train, on my lunch breaks and before bed. Short chapters make this book easy to abandon or resume, according to the demands of your schedule. It’s accessible and unpretentious, but still very relevant – even urgent.
Guyland is an astonishing account of adolescent masculinity in contemporary American (and by extension, Canadian) society. It describes how masculinity is taught, communicated and reinforced among groups of young men. It’s also an ethnographic account of the guys who are not still “boys”, and yet not quite “men”, and the ways in which they negotiate their identities and their growth, while coping with both internal and external demands for masculinity.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book for guys aged 16 – 26, and the people who love them.
Michael Kimmel is a sociologist who specializes in the study of gender and masculinity. Check out more from this wonderfully insightful professor:
Guyland: the perilous world where boys become men
The Gendered Society
Manhood in America: a cultural history