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Men to Boys: The Making of Modern Immaturity

reviewed by Amy Shuffelton - July 02, 2009

coverTitle: Men to Boys: The Making of Modern Immaturity
Author(s): Gary Cross
Publisher: Columbia University Press, New York
ISBN: 023114430X, Pages: 328, Year: 2008
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In his latest book, Gary Cross explores the phenomenon of “boy-men”: men who manage, with the full support of popular culture, to extend adolescence from childhood into later life. The book is both a fascinating history of American masculinity in the 20th and early 21st centuries and a powerful jeremiad against “modern immaturity.” A few generations ago, Cross argues, men grew up – or at least they, and the culture around them, seemed to think they were supposed to. Adult men were expected to dress differently than adolescents, enjoy different, more polished leisure pursuits, and take responsibility within their workplaces and families. The model of adult masculinity included financial and emotional restraint and dignity. Cross finds validation of this model (as well as quite a few challenges) across a wide variety of media, including movies, television, advertising, magazines, books, and cartoons. Whether men were actually like this is another question, and... (preview truncated at 150 words.)

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: July 02, 2009
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15705, Date Accessed: 7/25/2021 9:05:30 AM

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About the Author
  • Amy Shuffelton
    University of Wisconsin Whitewater
    E-mail Author
    AMY SHUFFELTON is Assistant Professor of Educational Foundations at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater. Her current work is exploring conceptions of gender and emotional comportment in contemporary schooling.
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