Beyond Honour and Achieved Hegemony: Violence and the Everyday Masculinities of Young Men
Mainstream criminology has stressed the importance of flawed notions of personal honour among disadvantaged and minority group men in interactive social disputes that escalate into serious violence. Recent gender studies and critical criminology have been concerned with wider structures of power and the links between hegemonic masculinity and violence directed against women or occurring between men. Our focus group study of views about violence among a mixed cohort of young men suggests the relevance of both these approaches as causal explanations. Nevertheless, violence was also narrated and understood through the sharp moral distinctions between illegitimate and wrongful enactments, and idealised accounts of violent events as measured, fair and just. Anti-violence initiatives need to anticipate the shifting ways by which young men distance themselves and their own violence from negative meanings, along with a continuing belief in a category of male violence that they deem legitimate, admirable, or even heroic.
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