Towards an affirmative feminist boys studies

Timothy Laurie, Catherine Driscoll, Liam Grealy, Shawna Tang, Grace Sharkey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This critical commentary considers the significance of Connell's The Men and the Boys in the development of an affirmative feminist boys studies. In particular, the article asks: How can research on boys contribute to feminist research on childhood and youth, without either establishing a false equivalency with girls studies, or overstating the singularity of "the boy" across diverse cultural and historical contexts? Connell's four-tiered account of social relations - political, economic, emotional, and symbolic - provides an important corrective to reductionist approaches to both feminism and boyhood, and this article draws on The Men and the Boys to think through contrasting sites of identity formation around boys: online cultures of "incels" (involuntary celibates); transmasculinities and the biological diversity of the category "man"; and the social power excercised within an elite Australian boys school. The article concludes by identifying contemporary challenges emerging from the heuristic model offered in The Men and the Boys.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-92
Number of pages18
JournalBoyhood Studies
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

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