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The Significance of the Body

The Construction of Masculinity among German Students

Jurgen Budde

This article discusses strategies of constructing masculinity among German school boys and shows the close interrelation of social status, social and symbolic value, and the success or failure of playing with male gender orders. It highlights the important role of the body in these processes. Based on data from ethnographical research the article shows that the body is an actor as well as target in the subordination strategies, which often includes the feminisation of other boys

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Martin Ashley, Jürgen Budde, Andrew Calimach, Heather Ellis, Pauline Farley, Stephen T. Graef, Diederik Janssen, Amanda Keddie, Bertha Mook, Peter Redman and Maria Elena Reyes

For this, the sixth issue of Thymos, which will conclude its third year of publication and with a lively plan of upcoming issues already in place, I asked the members of our editorial board and all past contributors to Thymos to informally respond to this question: “As someone who has written about ‘the boy’ and ‘boyhood’, how do you conceptualize and define these terms as you begin to study and write about issues facing ‘boys’, in the cities, in rural settings, in schools, in various contemporary cultures?” I also suggested that the meaning of “the boy” and “boyhood” may, in fact, be the central issue of boyhood studies at this point. The question elicited eleven remarkably different responses, which follow.