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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Published: 2019-04-04
Pages:17 to 30
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How to Cite
Tomsen, S. and Gadd, D. (2019) “Beyond Honour and Achieved Hegemony: Violence and the Everyday Masculinities of Young Men”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 8(2), pp. 17-30. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.v8i2.1117.

Author Biographies

Western Sydney University

Stephen Tomsen is a Professor of Criminology at WSU. He has decades of research experience and reputation for his work on violence, hate crime, crime and culture, masculinities, sexualities, drinking and drug use. Professor Tomsen's output includes seven books and numerous refereed articles and papers in criminology and social science journals. 

David completed his PhD - 'Deconstructing Male Violence' - at Keele in 2001 and his MPhil at Criminology at Cambridge in 1997. Before coming to Manchester, David worked at Keele University.