In this book Victor J Seidler, one of the leading contributors to the growing debate about masculinities, turns his attention to the lives of young men and their understandings of themselves as gendered beings. By contextualizing their experiences and subjectivities within a rapidly globalizing world, Seidler pays particular attention to the impact of the global media. How does the mass circulation of images of men's bodies, desires and sexualities affect their self-perception and behaviours, and how are these images framed within particular histories, cultures and traditions?
Questioning universalist theories of 'hegemonic masculinities', the book argues that young men often feel caught between prevailing masculinities and their own struggle for self-definition. It explores both how the idea of men as 'the First Sex' has been established within the West and the ways in which men in other cultures and societies affirm their gendered identities. Seidler pioneers new methodologies that involve listening to the silences surrounding male experience as well as to oral testimonies. This enables innovative analysis of the contradictions young men are faced with in both creating their own gendered identities and establishing more equal relationships within a world of intense inequalities.