What does it mean to "be a man" in different cultures around the world? In the first cross-cultural study of manhood as an achieved status, anthropologist David D. Gilmore finds that a culturally sanctioned stress on manliness-on toughness and aggressiveness, stoicism and sexuality-is almost universal, deeply ingrained in the consciousness of hunters and fishermen, workers and warriors, poets and peasants who have little else in common.
"Gilmore's subtle and illuminating inversion of ordinary understandings-his insight that male sterness, toughness, acquisitiveness, and aggressiveness serve, in circumstances of threat and scarcity, the same social ends as female tenderness and gentleness-has been suggested elsewhere, but never stated so completely nor in so unmistakably masculine a voice. . . . A signal service."-Beryl Lieff Benderly,New York Times Book Review
"The news in this anthropological study is not that so many societies . . . have developed rigid codes of masculinity. . . . Rather, it is that there are societies-on Tahiti and in Malaysia, for two-in which men are encouraged to be passive. . . . All of which, the author observes, causes consternation among Freudians (not to mention apostles of machismo), who have an investment in believing that fear of castration has engendered universal male anxiety over masculinity as something to be earned and steadfastly maintained."-Washington Post Book World"Provocative and absorbing."-Library Journal"An absorbing, well-argued, and finely written study."-Nicola Shulman,Sunday Times"The great virtue of this textbook is to demonstrate clearly that there is nothing natural or inevitable about gender polarity."-Robert Brain,Times Literary Supplement"
Subjects: Sociology, Psychology
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