Messerschmidt, J.W. 2000. Nine Lives: Adolescent Masculinities, The body, and Violence.

Messerschmidt, James W. 2000. Nine Lives: Adolescent Masculinities, The Body, and Violence. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Boys’ patterns of violence surrounding bullying of bodies (fat), sexualities (gay), or presentation of masculinity. Blame often put on video games or relationship to other masculinities, but do not look into issues of gender policing by other boys.

Criminology as often interpreted through sex-roles theory, which often does not take into account agency or social change, social construction of gender. Focus of much feminist and conflict perspectives on violence directed toward women, yet has increasingly focused on the gendered violence toward and between men. Men have more arrests, victimization, and severity of crime more so than women – in all forms of crime (corporate, political, and street crime). Majority of criminological inquiry looks into youth deviance in terms of gangs, sexual violence, etc. and tend to pathologize the individual, if they inquire into the individual at all. Violence as a resource to “do masculinity.”

Gender as a situated social and interactional accomplishment (a la West and Zimmerman and Fenstermaker); sex categories mark classifications that are given “real” power through interactions – categorizing people by sex attribution while simultaneously categorizing ourselves and other through the “doing” of gender. Accountability “allows individuals to conduct their activities in relation to their circumstances” (W&F 1995, 156 here 7).

Hegemonic masculinities a la Connell (1987, 1995) note the cultural ideal form of masculinity in a given historical or social setting – as it various across time, space, institutions, cultures, etc. Constructed in relation to “subordinated masculinities” (based on race, class, and sexual preference” [10]) to “oppositional masculinities” (“those that explicitly resist and possibly challenge hegemonic forms” [10]). Hegemonic masculinity posed toward control, authority, independence, individualism, competition, aggression, violence (Messerschmidt 1993). “Hegemonic masculinity, then, as the culturally and situationally dominant discourse and practice, influences but does not determine masculine behavior. Hegemonic masculinity underpins the conventions applied in the enactment and reproduction of masculinities – the lived patterns of meanings, which as they are experienced as practice, appear as reciprocally confirming […] Although most men attempt to express some aspects of hegemonic masculinity through speech, dress, physical appearance, activities, and relationships with others, these social signs of masculinity are associated with the specific context of individual action and are self-regulated within that context” (11-12). Masculinities (in their different forms) can concurrently exist within same person, same act.


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