A Male-Positive Introduction to the Victorian Manhood Question

Dennis Gouws (dgouws@springfieldcollege.edu)

Abstract


The new male studies offer an affirmative alternative to traditional gender scholarship on boys and men. Unlike pervasive men's-studies research, male studies inquiries are essentially male positive: their methodologies not only celebrate men who embody different masculinities, but also critique”and suggest strategies for overcoming”systemic inhibitors of masculine affirmation. Misandric constructions of masculine identities in gynocentric educational environments have resulted in males experiencing serious education deficits. This paper reports on a qualitative study undertaken in a British-Literature course on Victorian Manhood that offered students a male-positive approach to understanding the texts and their contexts and that solicited their written feedback on what they had learned from this experience.


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