Great Girls Talk Books: Guyland

Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men

This month BB&B read and discussed Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men. I think we were all hopeful for an insightful work, but none of us enjoyed this book, many did not finish it. What I think we did enjoy was talking about why we didn’t like it, eating yummy apple cobbler and cinnamon ice cream, and good conversation.

I don’t have much more energy to devote to this book so I’ll include the publishers’ synopsis:

“The passage from adolescence to adulthood was once clear. Today, growing up has become more complex and confusing, as young men drift casually through college and beyond—hanging out, partying, playing with tech toys, watching sports. But beneath the appearance of a simple extended boyhood, a more dangerous social world has developed, far away from the traditional signposts and cultural signals that once helped boys navigate their way to manhood—a territory Michael Kimmel has identified as “Guyland.”

In mapping the troubling social world where men are now made, Kimmel offers a view into the minds and times of America’s sons, brothers, and boyfriends, and he works toward redefining what it means to be a man today—and tomorrow. Only by understanding this world and this life stage can we enable young men to chart their own paths, stay true to themselves, and emerge safely from Guyland as responsible and fully formed male adults.”

My synopsis:
Limited analysis and documentation of research methodology – even basic citations, generalization based on a very small subgroup of men (read: white heterosexual college age fraternity men of privilege), shallow grasp of gender as social construction.

Next month’s read is Impatient with Desire by Gabrielle Burton, a fictionalized account of the Donner party, pioneers who become stranded during a cross-country move in the 1840s.

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