Language and Masculinities: Performances, Intersections, Dislocations, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Language and Masculinities

Performances, Intersections, Dislocations, 1st Edition

Edited by Tommaso M. Milani


250 pages

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This volume showcases cutting-edge research in the linguistic and discursive study of masculinities, comprising the first significant edited collection on language and masculinities since Johnson and Meinhof’s 1997 volume. Overall, the chapters are linked together by a critical analytical perspective that seeks to understand the relationships between discourse, masculinities, and power. Whereas some of the chapters offer detailed, linguistically informed critiques of the ways in which old and new expressions of masculinities are complicit in the reproduction of men’s hegemonic positions of power, others provide a more complex picture, one in which collusion and subversion go hand in hand. Contributions argue for the need for research on language and masculinities to expand its remit so as to engage with "gay masculinities," and unsettle gendered categories in order to consider the ways in which women, transgender, and intersex individuals also perform a variety of masculinities. Finally, unlike Johnson and Meinhof’s 1997 collection, this volume not only offers a wider—and perhaps "queerer" perspective—on the study of language and masculinities, but also covers a broader geographical and socio-cultural spectrum, including work on Brazil, Israel, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Africa.


"An exciting and ground-breaking new collection in which Milani and his international group of contributors bring the study of language and masculinities bang up to date for the 21st century. A theoretical and empirical tour de force." -- Sally Johnson, Emeritus Professor of Linguistics, University of Leeds, UK

"Since the publication of Johnson’s and Meinhof’s book, Language and Masculinity, almost 20 years ago, this impressive collection is the first to focus exclusively on the interconnections of language and masculinities. The volume provides a state-of-the-art treatment of current developments in the field: informed by feminist politics and by queer theory, it both interrogates the production of hegemonic masculinities and the naturalized relationship between masculinities and male-bodied subjects. It is theoretically sophisticated, methodologically varied and spans a range of geographical locations—an essential read for scholars of language, gender and sexuality." -- Professor Susan Ehrlich, York University, Toronto, Canada

Table of Contents

Introduction: Language and Masculinities… 20 Years Later Tommaso M. Milani 1. Theorizing Language and Masculinities Tommaso M. Milani 2. Two Hundred Years of the American Man Paul Baker 3. Fight Narratives, Covert Prestige, and Performances of ‘Tough’ Masculinity: Some Insights from an Urban Center Robert Lawson 4. Emceeing Toughness, Toughing Up the Emcee: Language and Masculine Ideology in Freestyle Rap Performances Quentin E. Williams 5. Construing the New Oppressed: Masculinity in Crisis and the Backlash against Feminism Michelle M. Lazar 6. Diminutives and Masculinity in Brazilian Portuguese Ronald Beline Mendes 7. ‘The Ideal Gay Man’: Narrating Masculinity and National Identity in Israel Erez Levon 8. No Ordinary Boy: Language, Masculinities, and Queer Pornography Veronika Koller 9. Masculinity in Lesbian Discourse: The Case of Butch and Femme Lucy Jones 10. Transmasculinity and the Voice: Gender Assignment, Identity, and Presentation Lal Zimman 11. Reclaiming Masculinity in an Account of Lived Intersex Experience: Language, Desire, and Embodied Knowledge Brian W. King

About the Editor

Tommaso M. Milani is Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. His main areas of research include language politics and ideology, language, gender and sexuality and queer theory. He has published in several international journals including Language in Society, Journal of Sociolinguistics, and Discourse & Society. He is currently co-editor of the journals Gender and Language, and African Studies.

About the Series

Routledge Critical Studies in Discourse

Routledge Critical Studies in Discourse publishes high quality original research monographs broadly in the area of critical discourse studies. It seeks theoretically innovative and empirically rigorous research that advances our critical understanding of the interrelations of discourse and social processes, including all aspects of power relations (such as maintenance and perpetuation of dominance; negotiations of power and resistance; as well as solidarity formations for group empowerment). The series supports interdisciplinary research, and welcomes investigations of new topics, domains, issues, frameworks and methods, as well as fresh perspectives on established ones, from a variety of international and cultural contexts. A broad understanding of "discourse" is adopted in the series to include systematic and explicit analyses of spoken/written language and other modes of semiosis (e.g. visual images, sounds, gestures and actions).

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Sociolinguistics
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies