Holding Your Square
Foreword by Jodie Miller
Willan – 2006 – 200 pages
This book is about the meanings of masculinities within the social networks of the streets of an American city (St Louis, Missouri), and how these shaped perceptions and enactments of violence. Based on a large number of interviews with offenders the author provides a rich description of life on the streets, contextualizing criminal violence within this deviant subculture, and with a specific focus on issues of gender. The book provides one of the most detailed descriptions yet of the forms masculinity takes in disadvantages communities in the United States. It establishes how street based gender identity motivated and guided men through violent encounters, exploring how men's relationships with women and their families instigated violence. One key issue addressed is why men resorted to violence in certain situations and not in others, exploring the range of choices open to them and how these opportunities were interpreted. The book makes a major contribution to the study of the relationship between masculinities and violence, making use of a much larger sample than elsewhere.
Foreword by Jody Miller 1. Doing crime, doing gender 2. Gender's omnipresence: methodology 3. Real men and punks: masculinities on the streets 4. Every motherfucker gonna try to punk you: masculinity challenges 5. One's man 'ho' is another man's sister: men's relationships with women and families 6. Is it being smart, or just a punk ass move? The contradictions of street masculinity 7. Masculinities, streetlife and violence
Christopher Mullins is Assistant Professor of Criminology in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology at the University Of Northern Iowa. His research interests include gender and crime, violence, streetlife subcultures, and comparative criminal justice.
Jody Miller is a Professor in the School of Criminal Justice, Rutgers University. Her research examines how inequalities of gender, race, and class shape young women's participation in crime and risks for victimization. Her books include Getting Played: African American Girls, Urban Inequality, and Gendered Violence (NYU Press, 2008) and One of the Guys: Girls, Gangs, and Gender (Oxford University Press, 2001).