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I have taught this subject area for several years and have always been frustrated by the lack a text that would give students an understanding of the basic, but difficult for undergraduates to grasp, concepts of the field of masculinities. What happens is that the materials available tend to fall back on simplistic gender research that has ‘pop‘ attraction, but doesn’t really expand the student’s critical capacities. The style of presentation, the assumption of student’s need for non-abstract language, illustrations and analogies present in this book shows an acute concern for and understanding of the student’s prospect of learning here.
George Muedeking, California State University, Stanislaus
Jack Kahn‘s Introduction to Masculinities is an extraordinary work of scholarship, both because it is uncommon and because it exceeds the ordinary. Although the title suggests that the work is introductory, this book is far deeper and far more complex than most any other similar work in terms of its thorough and scrupulous analysis of its subject matter—the nature of masculinities… I highly recommend it for all readers, particularly those seeking a work embedded with feminist and social constructionist perspectives.
Gary Brooks, Baylor University, Psychology of Women Quarterly, Sept, 2010
One of the key strengths of this book is the way in which it strongly and consistently emphasizes that theories and concepts of masculinity are disputed, evolving and constantly changing, so that the student is reminded throughout that we are not dealing with facts but with a conceptual and theoretical tool box. Nevertheless, the author simultaneously manages to stick to his stated feminist principles by carefully and reflectively including his own voice and his own profeminist stance, without allowing his position to overwhelm his review of the field. This book has many strengths and it fulfills its aim of being a useful introductory text.
Helen Poulsen, University of London (European Journal of Women’s Studies, 17: 290, 2010).
Overall, this book will provide food-for-thought for practitioners who would like to develop their understanding of work with men. However, it is not intended for psychological professionals and will assist on a largely theoretical or conceptual level, rather than on a practical one. It does offer an accessible and fairly
comprehensive introduction to the field of masculinities and will help point the reader to relevant further reading.
Craig Hutchison, University of Edinburgh (Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 235, 2010)
Imagine an introductory masculinities studies textbook that seamlessly integrates theory and contemporary research from the social sciences and makes complex issues accessible—with review questions, personal anecdotes, reference sections for each chapter, short biographies of scholars whose work shape the chapters, and even a glossary for readers who have trouble keeping up with the jargon. Do you think you‘re dreaming? Imagine no longer, colleagues; our much-needed and long overdue textbook has arrived. Kahn‘s conversational style of writing speaks directly to the reader without minimizing or sacrificing the intellectual depth associated with multidimensional theoretical models. Not only is the writing accessible, it is dynamic and consistently engaging. Kahn‘s inclusiveness increases the reader‘s understanding of how masculinities intersect with culture and other social categories such as race, socioeconomic status, religion, age, and sexuality. This, in my opinion, the major strength of the book. As a feminist woman of color who researches Black feminist masculinities this was its most rewarding feature, and the reason I intend to use it as a supplementary text in my Black masculinities course. This book is more than an introduction to the field; it is a warm invitation to anyone wishing to explore it.
Aaronette White, University of Santa Cruz (Sex Roles, 62, 2010)
Few textbooks have successfully integrated the remarkable body of interdisciplinary research on men and masculinity. Kahn‘s introductory textbook is thus timely and a welcome addition for those undergraduate courses that aim to begin a discussion about masculinities. While highlighting both theory and application, Kahn certainly succeeds in delivering a user-friendly text that examines many of the contemporary debates within the scholarship of masculinity, including various, and often conflicting, theoretical approaches regarding the origins and locations of masculinity, and various proposed solutions to the “crisis” of masculinity. We believe An Introduction to Masculinities is an excellent option for introductory courses within women‘s studies, men‘s studies, psychology, sociology, humanities, and special topics courses. It is thus a welcome tool to those of us who are dedicated to nurturing this fledgling field.
Ronald F. Levant, University of Akron, & Katherine A. Richmond, Family Practitioner, Fairlawn, OH (PsycCRITIQUES January 13, 2010)
Kahn engagingly introduces biological, psychological and constructionist approaches to different understandings of masculinity, juxtaposing the different perspectives in ways
that promote critical thinking.
Written primarily for undergraduates, this book would doubtless also interest postgraduates approaching gender and masculinities for the first time.
Dan Shepard, The Psychologist, 2009
This is the book that I‘ve been waiting for someone to write! Kahn integrates theory and research from the social sciences into a coherent account of the diverse meanings of ‘masculinities’. Most books on men‘s studies are either highly focused on a particular analytic framework, or provide broad surveys with little theoretical depth. Kahn identifies the major paradigms through which masculinities can be conceptualized. As a result, readers will gain a ‘meta’ awareness of how men‘s lives are being constructed and analyzed, both by professionals and lay people in everyday life. This book is truly an accomplishment.
Michael Addis, Clark University
An Introduction to Masculinities is a comprehensive overview of a wide range of perspectives on masculinities. It provides students with an excellent road map to guide them through important theories and issues in a complex field.
Dr. Harry Brod, Professor of Philosophy and Humanities, Department of Philosophy and World Religions, University of Northern Iowa
I have just finished reading Dr. Kahn’s new book An Introduction to Masculinities and am extremely impressed by the quality of the work. A high quality introductory text on masculinity is much needed and long overdue. The many important concepts to which the student is introduced are clearly explained in a writing style that is both engaging and personal. This is the book we have been waiting for.
Ellyn Kaschak, Professor of Psychology, Author of Engendered Lives and Editor, Journal of Women and Therapy
Dr Kahn has written a clear, wide-ranging and thoughtful introduction to contemporary issues and research about masculinities. Students and teachers will find this a valuable guide to complex and important problems.
Raewyn Connell, University of Sydney, Author of Masculinities
I am grateful to Jack Kahn for this careful, compendious, well-researched yet reader-friendly book. As a teacher, Kahn is skilled at explaining complex gender ideas and connecting them with our daily experiences and feelings. All students will find a lot to interest them here.
Peggy McIntosh, Ph.D., Associate Director, Wellesley Centers for Women, Wellesley College
Kahn makes a unique and valuable contribution to the fields of masculinities and gender studies. Speaking to students with a masterful blend of personal and academic writing, he makes the social and psychological complexities of these issues accessible in an introductory text.
Dr. Steven Botkin, Executive Director, Men’s Resources International