Boys and their Toys
Masculinity, Class and Technology in America
Edited by Roger Horowitz
Routledge – 2001 – 288 pages
Negotiating the divide between "respectable manhood" and "rough manhood" this book explores masculinity at work and at play through provocative essays on labor unions, railroads, vocational training programs, and NASCAR racing.
"Boys and Their Toys? is another fine volume in the Hagley series and a valuable addition to the literature on masculinity. Those familiar with this rapidly developing area of research will find new insights about the interplay between gender and class identities, and the meanings of and elusive boundaries between work and play, and tools and toys." -- Ava Baron, editor of Work Engendered
"This sterling collection falls together like a kaleidoscopic pattern to reveal a rich and nuanced tale of life on the shop floor. Each essay reveals the shaping power of particular kinds of male behavior and of the images embedded in the male imagination. I remain astonished at what an illuminating experience this is." -- Alice Kessler-Harris, author of In Pursuit of Equity
"Boys and Their Toys? invites us to think about the making of men in a fresh new way -- masculinity is constructed not only through our relations with one another, but in the things we make, the places we make them, and the ways those places are organized. This collection gives an exciting solidity to our understanding of the historical construction of gender." -- Michael Kimmel, author of Manhood in America
"Boys and Their Toys? brings to life the worlds of male work and play, so often sanitized in our histories. Labor and social historians never again will be able to think about work and workers without taking into account gender, not only for women but for men and boys, too." -- Joshua B. Freeman, author of Working Class New York
"As Horowitz argues in the introduction, conceptions of gender arise out of a subtle interplay of discourse and social experience. How we think, write, or talk about gender and how we live it in specific contexts are not isolated but interactive." -- Elliott J. Gorn, Brown University
"Boys and Their Toys? is a valuable contribution to the evolving literature on the construction of masculinity, demonstrating through a wide variety of historical case studies that masculinity is anything but monolithic." -- Arwen P. Mohun, author of Steam Laundries
"This fine new volume, the second in the Hagley Perspectives on Business and Culture series, opens with a tale of intellectual progress…The methodological approaches to masculinity, class, and technology exhibited in Boys and Their Toys? reveal just "how far we have come" in the past ten years (p.1). The collection certainly demonstrates the tremendous expansion of historical research on American men, manhood, and masculinity." -- Enterprise & Society, Rebecca Herzig, Bates College
Roger Horowitz is the associate director of the Hagley Museum and Library's Center for the History of Business, Technology and Society in Wilmington, Delaware. He is author of Negro and White Unite: A Social History Industrial Unionism in Meatpacking, and is editor of His and Hers: Gender Consumption, and Technology.