Global Perspectives on Manhood

Edited by:
Lemuel W. Watson, Indiana University School of Education
Jude Okpala, University of Texas at San Antonio


Call for Chapters

The need for studying the different perspectives on manhood is now urgent due to the global migration across borders and the transfer and interface of cultures. What seems to be a universal conception and understanding of manhood, and its trappings of patriarchy, has been under scrutiny. What is rather more prevalent are critical questions about the nature of manhood, whether there is a stable notion of manhood, and whether manhood could be defined exclusively as has been done traditionally without significant recognition of the authority of womanhood. American Men’s Studies Association will hold its 2019 conference like all of their conferences to “advance critical study of men and masculinity.” Spring 2018 issue of Iran Namag (volume 3 . 1) presents essays on Iranian masculinities and offers diverse understanding that includes the privileged roles of men in the context of women subjugation, invisibility of masculinities that presuppose apparent subordination and marginalization as though men do not have a gender. Although there has been an expansion of women and gender studies over the last four decades, the importance of men in relations to the wellbeing of the whole has not been given much attention. If we are going to create the space for a discussion about gender and feminism, we must consider how men’s roles and place within the same realms as women would change. Jeffrey Q. McCune (2014) in Sexual Discretion: Black Masculinity and the Politics of Passing, studies black masculinity and how it interfaces and complicates same-sex relationship. Yet, the question of manhood has not been exhausted, especially how it is viewed in the context of globalization. Several questions still linger:

> Is there a normative versus non-normative notion of manhood?

> What is manhood in general?

> Who is a man?

> How is manhood constructed across culture?

> Is there a taboo manhood, and what does it consist of?

> What constitutes manhood in the 21st century?

> What does it mean to be a good man?

> What does it mean to be a family man?

> How is being a family man today different from how it was in the past?

> Is there a universal concept of manhood?

> What beliefs foster the better valuation of men than women across cultures?

In this connection, we invite a discussion on the nature of manhood from around the world. Examining manhood in ancient history and cultures through contemporary times gives us a more holistic and global lens to use for contemporary notions of gender, gender roles, and sexuality. In posing essential questions about man’s place in the family and community, we explore the economic and social value of biases, assumptions, and prejudices we hold about the worth of men versus women.

It is time for the world to think in new ways about men: how they are in the family, in organizations, in communities, and in the essence of the fabrics of society; how the essence of being a man, manly, male, or not female, would co-exist beside females in society. Aldon Morris (1999) in his forward in the text A Question of Manhood writes, “we are beginning to understand that the beliefs and actions of human beings are shaped and influenced at a deep level by gender, class, and race dynamics. This view is now so entrenched that the trilogy of race, class, and gender has become the touchstone of modern social scientific discourse” (p. xi). We would go further in our examination of manhood to add that despite race, gender, and class, the sheer notion of the economic value of a man across the world defines his value and worth in society. Is it proper to believe that a man has no value if he has no economic means, either to earn or to inherent? Is he then useless and invisible or worst a nuisance to society?

From a global perspective, manhood must be examined and discussed from historical, tribal, spiritual, and regional points of views. Developing a global perspectives from both male and females view points is essential. In order to expand the literature for gender studies and to develop a holistic approach: all genders, male, females, and others are needed. We do not take the view points that there is an oppressor whose perspectives can not be considered as we reflect upon manhood. As we wrestle with the meaning of manhood, we are clearly aware that gender and gender roles may be physical, mental, social, and psychosocial in one’s development. How this notion of individual manhood interacts with family, community, and national contexts is unique and important to understand with regards to gender studies in contemporary times.

Our hope is that we can embolden others to study manhood from a very wide lens to include peoples and places that have been ignored by scholars for generations by opening up new questions for research and inquiry. We hope to prompt new questions to be asked about the past, and for truisms to be challenged and scrutinized. Above all, our goal is to challenge traditional thinking about manhood; to extend the discussion on the conception of manhood around the world; and to create a new understanding about manhood.

Abstract Submission:
Please indicate your intention to submit a paper by submitting an abstract of up to 500 words with the following information:
> Title
> Author and affiliation
> Purpose
> Rationale
> Methods
> Finds
> Conceptual framework (if this is part of the study)

Topics of interest
In thinking about “Manhood,” you can address these questions:

> Does a man have worth if he has nothing of economic value to offer the social unit?

> Is there a rite of passage that holds prominence in the community or cultural for boys-tomen to signify value and worth?

> Is fatherhood intertwined to manhood? How? Why? Why not?

> Is marriage intertwined to manhood? How? Why? Why not?

> Is manhood tied to sexual ability to attract the opposite sex?

> Is manhood tied to sexual ability to attract the same sex?

> Is manhood tied to spirituality and wisdom?

> Is manhood tied to sexual orientation?

> Is manhood and manliness synonymous?

> Describe what manhood would look like in your culture?

> How has manhood been adapted and changed throughout world history as countries traded and exchanged ideas, as they learnt and borrowed from each other, in order to stimulating further advances in philosophy, the sciences, language and religion?

> Is there a normative versus non-normative notion of manhood?

> What is manhood in general?

> Who is a man?

> How is manhood constructed across culture?

> Is there a taboo manhood, and what does it consist of?

> What constitutes manhood in the 21st century?

> What does it mean to be a good man?

> What does it mean to be a family man?

> How is being a family man today different from how it was in the past?

> Is there a universal concept of manhood?

Acceptance:
Authors will be notified within 2 weeks of submission with an acceptance letter and manuscript guidelines.

Publication Schedule:
Abstract Submission Solicitation: May 1 - May 30, 2018

Author Abstract Submission Deadline: May 30, 2018

1st Draft Submission Deadline: October 1, 2018

2nd Draft Submission Deadline: December 1, 2018

Final book submitted to publisher: March 1, 2019

Send Abstracts and Inquiries to: Lemuel W. Watson watsonlw@mailbox.sc.edu or Jude Okpala at jude.okpala@utsa.edu

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