Manhood, And Civilization By Gail Bederman Essay

1280 Words Oct 21st, 2015 6 Pages
Gail Bederman, author of “Manliness and Civilization” published in 1995, explains how manliness is associated with race and civilization. She states that historians explain manhood as a normal aspect of human nature and although it may be expressed differently at different times, the meaning of it always remains the same. Bederman indicates her thesis, “ This book will investigate this turn-of-the-century connection between manhood and race. It will argue that, between 1890 and 1917, as white middle-class men actively worked to reinforce male power, their race became a factor which was crucial to their gender.”(p. 4) The author uses a group of a people with different cultural assumptions about race, manhood, and civilization to explain her point of view. These people are: Ida B. Wells, G. Stanley Hall, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Theodore Roosevelt. Bederman states, “... -I will be concentrating on the different, even contradictory, ways people invoked the discourse of civilization to construct what it meant to be a man.” (p. 25) She argues that the specific aspects of discourse of civilizations are race, gender and power. The author uses different people to prove her thesis. She does this to illustrate different views of manhood in different times and also genders. Every person has impacted the idea of manliness and has demonstrated various aspects of it in their specific era. To support her thesis, Bederman uses primary sources such as monographs, newspapers, pamphlets…

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