Troubled Masculinities: Reimagining Urban Men

Author: Ken Moffatt (ed.)
Published: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division, 2011 (240 pages)

Ken Moffatt | Troubled Masculinities: Reimagining Urban Men

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.