My Reflections on Connell

in Boyhood Studies
Michael J. Richardson Newcastle University, UK michael.richardson@

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I have carried Connell's work with me as I have embarked on a career within human geography with specialist interest in gender and generation. Although my empirical lens has shifted and expanded in different ways and at different times, those same theoretical underpinnings have remained in place. I found myself returning to Connell's work on The Men and The Boys in my most recent academic work, namely through a “young dads and lads” project. Particularly noteworthy are the ways in which these young men move (and are moved by others) in between “boyhood,” “manhood,” and back again. Connell's work helps me understand how processes of childhood socialization gendered these boys, and how as young men they are gendered still through processes of fatherhood. I am left questioning what is left behind when boys become men. I also am left needing to thank Raewyn for my lectureship—perhaps these reflections will go some way toward doing so.

Contributor Notes

Michael J Richardson is a lecturer in Human Geography at the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University, UK. He researches young men's lives and is particularly interested in working in creative ways to explore intergenerational relationships, having published on the subject in Gender, Place and Culture and Social and Cultural Geography. His upcoming monograph, “Redefining Masculinity: Feminism, Family and Food” will be published by Routledge later this year as part of the Spaces of Childhood and Youth series. Richardson is a trustee of the North East Young Dads and Lads Project. Email:

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Boyhood Studies

An Interdisciplinary Journal

  • Burrell, Kathy., Peter. Hopkins, Arshad. Isakjee, Colin. Lorne, Caroline. Nagel, Robin. Finlay, Anoop. Nayak, Matt. C. Benwell, Raksha. Pande, Michael. J. Richardson, Kate. Botterill, and Ben. Rogaly. 2019. “Brexit, Race and Migration.” Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space 37 (1): 340.

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  • Connell, Raewyn. 2000. The Men and the Boys. Cambridge: Polity Press.

  • Connell, Raewyn. 2007. Southern Theory: Social Science and the Global Dynamics of Knowledge. Melbourne: Allen and Unwin.

  • Crenshaw, Kimberlé. 1989. “Demarginalizing the Intersections of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics.” University of Chicago Legal Forum 1: 13967.

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  • Elliott, Karla. 2020. “Bringing in Margin and Centre: ‘Open’ and ‘Closed’ As Concepts for Considering Men and Masculinities.” Gender, Place and Culture 27 (12): 17231744.

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  • hooks, bell. 2004. “Choosing the Margin as a Space of Radical Openness.” In The Feminist Theory Standpoint Reader: Intellectual and Political Controversies, ed. S. Harding, 153159. New York: Routledge.

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  • Lugones, Maria. 2010. “Toward a Decolonial Feminism.” Hypatia 25 (4): 74259.


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