Author: Ken Moffatt (ed.)
Published: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division, 2011 (240 pages)
In the contemporary urban environment, the once-dominant concept of a ‘masculine’ identity is being replaced by alternative ideas of what it means to be a man. Troubled Masculinities explores and theorizes the ways in which men who experience marginalization in urban settings reimagine and reconstruct their identities as males.
Through personal narratives and assessments of artistic expression, the contributors present critical and inventive views of masculinity and how it is performed and interpreted in urban space. Set against the backdrop of Toronto, the essays engage with the global and transnational processes that affect identity and consider how the social hybridity of large cities allows individuals to work against fundamentalist and essentialist attitudes toward gender.
The contributors represent diverse backgrounds, races, ethnicities, sexualities, and gender orientations and they offer unique perspectives on conforming to and breaking away from traditional interpretations of masculinity. The essays in this volume explore the effect of race on one’ s own understanding of gender identity, the role of performance and visual art – from screen printing to drag king shows – in challenging hegemonic masculinities, and the impact of space – from bubble tea houses to punk rock clubs – on expressions of masculinity.
Troubled Masculinities is an important contribution to the growing field of masculinity studies and a valuable assessment of the nature of gender in a modern Canadian urban setting. The collected essays will appeal to a wide audience, from social scientists and artists to activists and general readers.