Sunday, March 25, 2018

Book shows young men drawn into extremism to find masculinity

Here is a little pre-review of a book by Michael Kimmel, University of California, “Healing from Hate: How Young Men Get Into and Out of Violent Extremism”, a book review by Dina Temple-Raston, “Masculinity, not ideology, drives extremist groups”, Washington Post, March 25, 2018, Outlook.

While Amy Chua had argued earlier (“Political Tribes”) that they were carrying out their group behaviors. Kimmel argues that they have become frustrated in attempting to experience themselves as men, because they cannot succeed in a society that demands so much restraint and abstraction.

That may be true of many groups like white supremacists and some of the European radical Islamic terrorists, although it explains less well the 9/11 hijackers.

All of this sounds Rosenfelsian.   
It’s true that upper middle class men who do succeed in academics, business or technology (or professional sports) probably never encounter other men who behave this way.  There is a movement going on to (like on Facebook) to  let boys grow up as boys (Steven Marche’s New York Times article in Nov. 2017). .  But upper class families (and higher achievers in the gay community today) would never see this. 

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