Dear IJMSCH Board Members,

 

We’ve recently received notifications for 2 new books that may be of interest to our readers. The 2 books are: Affective Health and Masculinities in South Africa by Hans Reihling and The Tough Standard by Ronald F Levant and Shana Pryor. If you are interested in doing a review for the journal on either of these books please contact Editor-in-Chief Steve Robertson (S.S.Robertson@leedsbeckett.ac.uk) or Managing Editor Scott Bryant (sbryant@dougmargroup.com) to arrange a free copy.

 

Short bios of the books are included below

Affective Health and Masculinities in South Africa

Why are behaviors associated with masculinity increasing the risk of illness, injury, and premature death among young men? What makes these men vulnerable to substance misuse, interpersonal violence, and suicide? What does recovery look like? This book draws on more than eight years of recurrent ethnographic fieldwork in urban South Africa to answer these globally urgent questions from a cross-cultural perspective. Anthropologist Hans Reihling vividly shows that regardless of social and cultural differences, many men have something in common: their struggles to become invulnerable individuals increase their vulnerability. With a focus on three male protagonists living in very distinct urban areas of Cape Town, this in-depth study shows how intractability, sharpness, and daring disrupt relationships and lead to moral breakdowns. Reihling’s critical insight is that these breakdowns have a history and result from the rise of modern individualism rather than traditional patriarchy that has become a cliché in mainstream gender studies. He conceptualizes affective health as a balancing act between autonomy and connectivity, arguing that after the racist regime of apartheid, this balance has become compromised through the imperative of self-reliance. This book provides a rare perspective on young men’s vulnerability in everyday life that may affect the reader and spark discussion about how masculinities in relationships shape physical and psychological health. Moreover, it shows how men change in the face of distress through religious healing practices and modern psychiatry. The making of ‘new’ men may nevertheless look different than global health and gender transformative development programs envision. Thick descriptions of actual events over time make this ethnographic account not merely an exercise in intellectual digestion but an experiential meal that can be enjoyed.

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The Tough Standard

This book connects the dots between masculinity and the present moment in U.S. Culture, defined by such high profile movements as #MeToo, #MarchForOurLives and #BlackLivesMatter.

 

The vast majority of sexual and gun violence crimes are committed by boys and men, yet most boys and men are not violent. An unpacking of this seeming paradox requires an analysis of the role of masculinity.  This is the first book to examine that question head-on, synthesizing over 4 decades of research in the psychology of men and masculinities as well as popular accounts of recent events. We also cover the violence that men do to themselves through poor health habits and health risk behavior.