This special issue of Boyhood Studies considers how a group of international scholars have engaged with the concepts of boyhood and belonging as a complex personal and powerful process. In different ways, the authors highlight how belonging is an ongoing negotiation within one’s surroundings. The international research presented here compels us to conceptualize belonging and boyhood as something that is not only infused with individuals and collective histories, but also interwoven within different conceptions of place and space. These places and spaces are experienced in multiple ways within different social contexts. We contend that this special issue is positioned at an important time in studies of boys and young men. As boys and young men experience their transition into adulthood with increased precarity, it is time we take theories of boyhood and belonging seriously. These theories can open up new spaces and provide critical insights into young lives.
Michael R. M. Ward and Thomas Thurnell-Read
Guest Editor's Introduction
This introductory article explains the aims of the interdisciplinary conference “Masculinity and the Other” held at Balliol College, Oxford, August 29-30, 2007, at which all of the papers comprising this special issue of Thymos: Journal of Boyhood Studies were first presented. It points out the prominence which the notions of the “boy” and boyhood and the life-cycle enjoyed at the conference and seeks more generally to suggest the benefits a more fully integrated discussion of these topics might bring to the fields of masculinity and gender studies.
This article explores attitudes toward boyhood shaped by the traumatic experiences of the First World War. It focuses particularly on the work of the little-known French author, Paul Cazin, and his attempts to commemorate the entirety of “the lost generation” by transcending divisions of religion and secularism that characterized boyhood activities in France before the war. The figure of the “Manneken-Pis” enables him to do this and is particularly suited to the expression of conflicting attitudes toward militarism in boyhood. Cazin’s intellectual program leads to a reading of the famous Manneken-Pis fountain depicting a urinating boy as a religious artifact. A variety of interwar responses to the statue demonstrate the strength of emotion provoked by the figure of the young boy. The fact that these responses have been enshrined in modern cultural and artistic practices suggests the extent to which the experience of the First World War still conditions attitudes toward boyhood.
Theorizing Boys’ Literacies and Boys’ Literatures in Contemporary Times
Garth Stahl and Cynthia Brock
-stakes standardized testing ( Rizvi and Lingard 2010 ) is the rise of the “deficit boys discourse” ( Hayes and Lingard 2003 ) or “failing boys” discourse ( Epstein et al. 1998 ; Keddie 2007 ; Watson 2011 ). In their studies of boyhood, Rob Gilbert and Pam Gilbert
Raewyn Connell's Influence on its New Vision
Joseph D. Nelson, Tristan Bridges, and Kristen Barber
Founded over 20 years ago, the journal of Men and Masculinities has been a central scholarly outlet for empirical research in the growing field of gender, boyhood, and masculinity studies. Since its inception, it has published contemporary
The Emotional Education of Boys in Mexico during the Early Porfiriato, 1876–1884
Carlos Zúñiga Nieto
Romantic attitudes toward the concept of boyhood flourished in the Yucatán region during the beginning of the independence fight in Cuba against Spain in 1868. Recent scholarship has focused on the changing concepts of childhood through hygiene
of adolescence and popular culture in the second half of the nineteenth century. Specifically, public reaction to the crime gestures to broader cultural connections between boys, boyhood, and frontier mythos embedded in readings of the American dime
Masculinity, Maturity, and the Movies in the 1920s
Peter W. Lee
,” Marie Eline—Coogan’s stardom was unprecedented. As a result, his impending adulthood generated buzz not only over his future, it reflected on boyhood in general. In 1927, B.P. Schulberg, Vice President at Paramount Pictures, even heralded the end of the
This article explores the construction of boyhood in short fiction written by Patrick Pearse, the Irish nationalist and political activist executed for his leading role in the abortive Easter Rising of 1916. Pearse’s focus on the spiritual dimension of boyhood in his first collection of Irish-language stories, Íosagán agus Sgéalta Eile [Iosagan and Other Stories] (1907), simultaneously undermines and endorses imperialist and patriarchal assumptions about gender differentiation. In later stories published in An Mháthair agus sgéalta eile [The Mother and Other Stories] (1916), Pearse moved from advocacy of boyish spirituality to a more physical and militant representation of boyhood. This changing representation of Irish boyhood illustrates how Pearse’s increasing militarism reflected his ongoing construction of national identity.
Judy Y. Chu, Murray Drummond, Peter Redman, Gary Alan Fine, Robert Morrell, Amanda Keddie, Neill Korobov, Diederik F. Janssen, Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli, Mary Jane Kehily, Sami Timimi, Murray Pomerance, and Ronald F. Levant
The following are responses to a request to the members of our editorial board and contributors to Thymos on the theme of the status of boyhood studies. The twelve contributions take quite different perspectives on the topic. They raise very different questions and present distinctive interests. All have trained their scholarly eye on what boyhood studies means today. Each points to an area of scholarly work that demands the attention of those of us interested in boyhood and the lives of boyhood—as we determine just what these notions mean. Suggestions for further reading offered by the contributors are given at the end (p. 147).