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Buffeted by Political Winds

Children’s Literature in Communist Romania

Adrian Solomon

1960s and 1970s, were very little, if at all, ideologically contaminated—so many, in fact, that it is hard to tell whether they were the exceptions or the rule. The two questions raised below about Romanian children’s literature written under Communism

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Young Masculinity and “The Other”

Representations of Ideal Manliness in Twentieth-Century English Boys’ Annuals

Pauline Farley

Twentieth-century English boys’ annuals often defined masculinity against notions of the “otherness” of gender, race and class. The children’s annual, which developed as a popular literary form during the Victorian period, was designed to instruct and entertain. Dominant ideologies about gender, race and class were reproduced and reinforced for an uncritical readership. High production values meant that annuals became a form of “hard copy,” re-read by several generations. In boys’ annuals, mid-Victorian styles of masculinity were reiterated during the twentieth century. In these narratives, boy heroes demonstrated superiority to various groups of “others,” thereby modelling and inscribing an increasingly old-fashioned masculinity and preserving older ideologies. Exploring a neglected area of ideological history of gender, this article shows how boys’ annuals presented readers with notions of “masculinity” defined by comparison with “the other,” who might be indigenous, feminine or lower-class.

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Gender Role Conflict Scale for Adolescents

Correlates with Masculinity Ideology

Chris Blazina, Maribel A. Cordova, Stewart Pisecco, and Anna G. Settle

This study investigated the Gender Role Conflict Scale-Adolescent Version (GRCS-A) and its relationship with the Gender Role Conflict Scale (GRCS), the measure from which it was adapted. Significant correlations between the adult and adolescent versions provided support for the concurrent validity of the GRCS-A. Further analyses revealed that two other measures of male masculinity, the Adolescent Masculinity Ideology in Relationships Scale (AMIRS) and Male Role Attitudes Scale (MRAS), are also significantly related to the GRCS-A. Implications for future research and clinical use are discussed.

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Lost Boys

The Infernal Youth of the Cinematic Teenage Vampire

Simon Bacon

This paper takes a comparative look at the configuration of boyhood as shown in two periods of the vampire film: the teen-vamp explosion of the 1980s, which produced Joel Schumacher’s The Lost Boys, and recent representations in vampire romance such as Edward Cullen in Stephanie Meyer’s The Twilight Saga. In particular, it highlight the tensions between cultural constructions of boyhood and how the young male child himself conforms to, or opposes, ideological impositions. It also pinpoints the opportunities eventuated through the figure of the adolescent vampire as regards the construction of personal agency and self-determination.

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Queer Sensations

Postwar American Melodrama and the Crisis of Queer Juvenility

Cael Keegan

This essay analyzes the cinematic genre convention of the “sensation scene” as a vehicle for the representation of queer crises in American juvenility during the postwar era. Through popular cinema, post-WWII America organized and communicated concerns about the production of “fit” masculine and heterosexual juveniles who would be capable of carrying out the postwar expansion of American democratic and capitalist ideologies. The sensation scene was deployed by popular films to mark queer and racialized masculinities in an aesthetic system that mirrored institutional efforts to prevent “unfit” juveniles from accessing the benefits of full social and political participation. Today, the genre device continues to structure popular film representations of and common thinking about the relative value of young, male American lives.

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Thomas K. Hubbard

Classical Athens offers a useful comparative test‐case for essentialist assumptions about the necessary harm that emanates from sexual intimacy between adults and adolescent boys. The Athenian model does not fit victimological expectations, but instead suggests that adolescent boys could be credited with considerable powers of discretion and responsibility in sexual matters without harming their future cultural productivity. Contemporary American legislation premised on children’s incapacity to “consent” to sexual relations stems from outmoded gender constructions and ideological preoccupations of the late Victorian and Progressive Era; that it has been extended to “protection” of boys is a matter of historical accident, rather than sound social policy. Rigorous social science and historical comparanda suggest that we should consider a different “age of consent” for boys and girls.

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"The Hero of This Little History"

Hobbledehoydom in Anthony Trollope's "Ayala's Angel"

Hyson Cooper

Using Anthony Trollope’s character Tom Tringle ofAyala’s Angel, I argue that in his portrayal of the hobbledehoy, Trollope is imposing on Victorian boys and young men a code of behavior every bit as restrictive and every bit as unnatural as the “suffer and be still” doctrine imposed on girls and young women. Using critical tools from the fields of Masculinity Studies and studies of literary character, I discuss Trollope’s portrayal of Tom Tringle as emblematic of the restrictions Victorian gender ideology placed on women. What emerges is a new dimension to Victorian gender studies. The admonition addressed to Victorian women of all ages and classes that they should “suffer and be still” in the face of any adversity is well known, and is often accompanied by the assumption that no similar restriction is placed on boys and men. In the world of Anthony Trollope’s novels, however, unlike that of many other Victorian novelists, women seldom need much taming, as obedience is a strong character trait in the majority of his heroines. His young men, on the other hand, tend to be far less morally evolved, and in Trollope’s love plots, if anyone has to undergo profound changes of character before being fit for marriage, it is usually the man. I argue that Trollope’s stern but gentle treatment of the misfit Tom provides further answers to the often debated question of Trollopes relative conservatism.

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Noah N. Allooh, Christina M. Rummell, and Ronald F. Levant

The present study examined the extent to which youth who endorse emo subculture reject the traditional masculine norm of restrictive emotionality. It also examined the relationships between endorsement and rejection of emo subculture and traditional masculine and feminine norms and masculine gender role conflict. In Study 1 (N = 13) three focus groups were conducted to create the mixed methods Emo Culture Questionnaire (ECQ). In Study 2 (N = 164) exploratory factor analysis of the quantitative part of the ECQ resulted in a 15-item, 4-factor scale; however, due to low reliabilities, only two scales were used in the analyses. Three hypotheses were mostly supported. The endorsement of emo subculture by men was negatively associated with their Restrictive Emotionality subscale scores of both the Male Role Norms Inventory-Revised (MRNI-R) and Gender Role Conflict Scale (GRCS). The endorsement of emo subculture by women was negatively associated with their MRNI-R Restrictive Emotionality scores but was not positively associated their Femininity Ideology Scale (FIS) Emotionality scores. Negative views of the emo subculture by both men and women were positively correlated with their MRNI-R Restrictive Emotionality scores. An exploratory question found that the endorsement of emo subculture had significant negative correlations with three additional MRNI-R subscales and the total scale for men and with five MRNI-R subscales and the total scale for women. In addition, the endorsement of emo subculture had significant negative correlations with two FIS subscales, and with two additional GRCS subscales and the total scale for men. Qualitative results from the ECQ indicated that while the label “emo” may not function as a personal identifier, the music, fashion, and behavior thus identified remain popular.

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Social Response to Age-Gap Sex Involving Minors

Empirical, Historical, Cross-Cultural, and Cross-Species Considerations

Bruce Rind

Social response to age‐gap sex involving minors has become increasingly severe. In the US, non‐coercive acts that might have been punished with probation 30 years ago often lead to decades in prison today. Punishment also increasingly includes civil commitment up to life, as well as scarlet‐letter‐like public registries and onerous residence restrictions for released offenders. Advocates and the general public approve, believing that age‐gap sex with minors is uniquely injurious, pathological, and criminal. Critics argue that public opinion and policy have been shaped by moral panic, consisting of unfounded assumptions and invalid science being uncritically promoted by ideology, media sensationalism, and political pandering. This talk critically examines the basic assumptions and does so using a multi‐perspective approach (empirical, historical, cross‐cultural, cross‐species) to overcome the biases inherent in traditional clinical‐forensic reports. Non‐clinical empirical reviews of age‐gap sex involving minors show claims of intense, pervasive injuriousness to be highly exaggerated. Historical and cross‐cultural reviews show that adult‐adolescent sexual relations have been common and frequently socially integrated in other times and places, indicating that present‐day Western conceptualizations are socially constructed to reflect current social and economic arrangements rather than expressions of a priori truths. Analogous relations in primates are commonplace, non‐pathological, and not infrequently functional, contradicting implicit assumptions of a biologically‐based “trauma response” in humans. It is concluded that, though age‐gap sex involving minors is a significant mismatch for contemporary culture—and this talk therefore does not endorse it—attitudes and social policy concerning it have been driven by an upward‐spiraling moral panic, which itself is immoral in its excessive adverse consequences for individuals and society.

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Gamed by the System

Exploring Black Male Youths’ Motivation to Participate in Sports

Deborwah Faulk, Robert A. Bennett III, and James L. Moore III

ideologies which bolster traditional displays of gender performance. Although gender norms are changing ( Anderson 2014 ), given the history of race, gender, and ability in the United States it is important to study the intersection of identity and the