© 2011

What is Masculinity?

Historical Dynamics from Antiquity to the Contemporary World

  • John H. Arnold
  • Sean Brady

Part of the Genders and Sexualities in History book series (GSX)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Introduction

    1. John H. Arnold, Sean Brady
      Pages 1-14
  3. Paradigms and Nomenclature

  4. Masculinity and Hegemony

  5. Maturing and Adulthood

  6. Domesticities

About this book


Across history, the ideas and practices of male identity have varied much between time and place: masculinity proves to be a slippery concept, not available to all men, sometimes even applied to women. This book analyses the dynamics of 'masculinity' as both an ideology and lived experience - how men have tried, and failed, to be 'Real Men'.


England history women

Editors and affiliations

  • John H. Arnold
    • 1
  • Sean Brady
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, Birkbeck CollegeUniversity of LondonUK

About the editors

JOHN H. ARNOLD Professor of Medieval History, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK JOANNE BAILEY Senior Lecturer in History, Oxford Brookes University, UK HENRIK BERG Lecturer in Gender Studies, Uppsala University, Sweden SEAN BRADY Lecturer in Modern British and Irish History at Birkbeck College, University of London, UK NANCY CHRISTIE McGill University, Montreal, Canada MATT COOK Senior Lecturer in History and Gender Studies, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK HEATHER ELLIS Lecturer and Researcher in British History, Centre for British Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany CHRISTOPHER FLETCHER Chargé de Recherche, the Laboratoire de Médiévistique Occidentale, University of Paris I, France HENRY FRENCH Professor of Social History, University of Exeter, UK THOMAS K. HUBBARD Professor of Classics, University of Texas, Austin, USA DIEDERIK F. JANSSEN Independent Scholar, the Netherlands JENNIFER JORDAN Postdoctoral Research Fellow, the University of Plymouth, UK CLARE MAKEPEACE Doctoral Candidate in Modern British History, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK LUCINDA MATTHEWS-JONES Lecturer in Modern British History, Queen's University, Belfast, UK KASUMI MIYAZAKI Professor of Comparative Literature and History, Wako University, Japan JACQUELINE M. MOORE Professor of History, Austin College in Sherman, Texas, USA RACHEL E. MOSS Chargé de Recherche, the Laboratoire de Médiévistique Occidentale, University of Paris I, France MARK ROTHERY Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Northampton University, UK ROBERT RUTHERDALE Department of History and Philosophy, Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada VICTOR JELENIEWSKI SEIDLER Professor of Social Theory, Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK RACHEL STONE Departmental Library Cataloguer, Department of Coins and Medals, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK JOHN TOSH Professor of History, Roehampton University, London, UK SIMON YARROW Lecturer in Medieval History, School of History and Cultures, University of Birmingham, UK

Bibliographic information


'The essays in What Is Masculinity? insightfully demonstrate that its titular question is inseparable from the questions of what were manhood, manliness and allied notions such as virility and gentlemanliness, leading up to contemporary scholarly conceptions of hegemonic masculinity and diverse masculinities. These stimulating explorations take us broadly and deeply through a wide range of times and places. They importantly challenge historians specifically, and the rest of us more generally, to push through the boundaries of traditional scholarship to reach more complex and nuanced understandings.' - Harry Brod, Editor of The Making of Masculinities and Theorizing Masculinities, and Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at the University of Northern Iowa, USA

'[...] Informative, original, and challenging to the historian of masculinity of any period (although possibly not of any region) to make this an invaluable collection of scholarship and seminal in its own right, potentially helping to define the field and its direction for years to come.' - Jessica Meyer, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK