While masculinity studies enjoys considerable growth in the West, there is very little analysis of African masculinities. This volume explores what it means for an African to be masculine and how male identity is shaped by cultural forces. The editors believe that to tackle the important questions in Africa--the many forms of violence (wars, genocides, familial violence and crime) and the AIDS pandemic--it is necessary to understand how a combination of a colonial past, patriarchal cultural structures and a variety of religious and knowledge systems creates masculine identities and sexualities. The work done in the book particularly bears in mind how vulnerability and marginalization produce complex forms of male identity. The book is interdisciplinary and is the first in-depth and comprehensive study of African men as a gendered category.
"'The attention [African Masculinities] gives to the complexities involved in the class, racialized, gendered, and heterosexualized relations of power and how they get negotiated in the everyday lives of African men, as well as its attention to specific locations and historical contexts, constitute valuable and insightful knowledge production. It's an amazing piece of work.' - Wayne Martino, Murdoch University, Western Australia 'This rich and fascinating book gives multiple images of the making of masculinities across the continent. It includes close-focus community studies, sophisticated literary studies, and broad perspectives on men's gender politics. The collection recognizes historical depth and cultural diversity in the lives of Africa's men. It illuminates the colonial encounter and the impact of globalization. Sophisticated, clearly written and wonderfully detailed, African Masculinities enriches the global study of gender as well as our understanding of contemporary Africa.' - R.W.Connell, author of Gender (2002) and Masculinities (1995). University Chair in education and social science, University of Sydney 'African Masculinities makes a significant contribution to the globalizing of critical studies on men. It furthers the project of decentring white western men from their privileged positions in the global discourse about masculinities. This interdisciplinary collection builds upon postcolonial, indigenous and development studies to engage in a cross-cultural dialogue with western feminist and critical men's studies. The result is not only an important contribution to understanding the specificity of African men and masculinities but also an insight into the relevance of the western conceptual frameworks for researching men in non-western contexts. The collection charts a careful pathway through the complexities of critical research on men, recognising that the diversity of masculinities must not take our attention away from men's social dominance. It reminds us that all masculinity studies must be grounded in historical, cultural and geographical contexts.' - Bob Pease, Associate Professor, RMIT University, Melbourne and author of Men and Gender Relations (2002) 'This carefully crafted volume exposes African masculinities to the light of gender analysis and explodes the myth of a singular African masculinity. Here are African men in all their diversity - straight and gay, white and black, urban and rural, constructing themselves or observed through colonial eyes, represented in art and fiction and embodied in daily life. Such a new and complex issue deserves such a rich discussion.' - Michael Kimmel, Professor of Sociology, State University of New York, Editor, Men and Masculinities 'With African Masculinities, Lahoucine Ouzgane and Robert Morrell have secured solid ground for the emerging field of critical men's studies in Africa. The chapters they have selected for this volume provide the latest multidisciplinary research on African men and masculinities from the end of the nineteenth century to the present. This book is necessary reading for anyone interested in understanding gender politics and practices as they have emerged in Africa during the postcolonial era. The chapters thoughtfully address key issues such as the reconfiguration of masculinities resulting from the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the negotiations of gay African masculinities, and the impact of globalization on masculine practices from historical, sociological, literary, economic, and political perspectives. Ranging from Guinea to Tanzania and Egypt to South Africa and extending from the early twentieth century to the early twenty-first century, this volume joins Ouzgane's previous special issue of The Journal of Men's Studies (2002) and Lisa A. Lindsay and Stephan F. Miescher's historical Men and Masculinities in Modern Africa (2003) in establishing African masculinities studies as a rich and dynamic field of study.' - Daniel Coleman, Canada Research Chair, McMaster University, and author of Masculine Migrations: Reading the Postcolonial Male in New Canadian Narratives (1998) and The Scent of Eucalyptus: A Missionary Childhood in Ethiopia (2001)"