Synopses & Reviews
Take this test. You think today's sensitive, caring man is: (a) a myth, (b) an oxymoron, or (c) a moron. No matter whether you laugh at this bit of folk humor, its wide circulation bespeaks a modern predicament for American men.
Men's "manly" traditions have been shaken in an age of "sensitivity." Some observers have even referred to a crisis of masculinity for a new generation of boys. In Manly Traditions, established scholars in the fields of folklore, men's studies, and gender studies identify the folkloric roots of what it means to be a man in America. In a lively volume they examine the traditions men inherit and adapt for their own purposes in contemporary life.
"Author of several studies of American folklore (e.g., Folk Nation: Folklore in the Creation of American Tradition, CH, Mar'03, 40--4184, and Piled Higher and Deeper: The Folklore of Campus Life, 1990), Bronner (Pennsylvania State Univ., Harrisburg) here brings together a diverse and engaging collection on the contemporary American male experience. Divided into two sections, Manly Displays and Performances and Manly Expressions and Texts, the 12 essays offer case studies that, taken together, explore the wide range of culturally sanctioned masculine behavior at the dawn of the 21st century. Of particular interest are the lucid and thorough essays on African American stepping, Latino culture in South Texas, Japanese American manliness, and gay men's performances in public club scenes. In the introductory essay, Menfolk, Bronner provides a cogent, well-researched analysis of how men behave in groups, and this essay alone is well worth the price of admission. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty.--W. Edwards, Longwood University" --Choice(for internal use only until 9/1/06) Indiana University Press Indiana University Press Indiana University Press
About the Author
Simon J. Bronner is Distinguished University Professor of American Studies and Folklore at Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg. The author of more than a dozen books, he lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Table of Contents
Introduction Simon J. Bronner
Menfolk Simon J. Bronner
Part I. Manly Displays and Performances
1. In the Company of Men: Female Accommodation and the Folk Culture of Male Groups Gary Alan Fine
2. "Running the Yard": The Negotiation of Masculinities in African American Stepping Tom Mould
3. Muy Macho: Traditional Practices in the Formation of Latino Masculinity in South Texas Border Culture Norma E. Cantú
4. Performing Manliness: Resistance and Harmony in Japanese American Taiko Hideyo Konagaya
5. "I Feel That I'm Freer to Show My Feminine Side": Folklore and Alternative Masculinities in a Rave Scene Anthony P. Avery
6. The Circuit: Gay Men's Techniques of Ecstasy Mickey Weems
Part II. Manly Expressions and Texts
7. The Folklore of Mother-Raised Boys and Men Jay Mechling
8. Be Careful What You Wish For: Images of Masculinity in Tragedies of Wish Fulfillment Greg Kelley
9. Manly Characters in Contemporary Legends: A Preliminary Survey W. F. H. Nicolaisen
10. Mountain Masculinity: Jokes Southern Mountain Men Tell on Themselves W. K. McNeil
11. Secret Erections and Sexual Fabrications: Old Men Crafting Manliness Simon J. Bronner
12. "Letting Out Jack": Sex and Aggression in Manly Recitations Ronald L. Baker and Simon J. Bronner
Afterword: Many Manly Traditions--A Folkloristic Maelstrom Alan Dundes