Becoming Men: Black masculinities in a South African township

Wits University Press
192 pages
Paperback / softback (9781776145676)
Digital download (9781776145683)
Digital download (9781776145690)

BecomingMen is the story of 32 boys from Alexandra, one of Johannesburg's largesttownships, over a period of twelve seminal years in which they negotiatemanhood and masculinity. Psychologist and academic Malose Langa documents inclose detail what it means to be a young black man in contemporary SouthAfrica.

Theboys discuss a range of topics including the impact of absent fathers,relationships with mothers, siblings and girls, school violence, academicperformance, homophobia, gangsterism, unemployment and, in one case, prisonlife.

Deepambivalence, self-doubt and hesitation emerge in their approach to alternativemasculinities premised on non-violent, non-sexist and non-risk-takingbehaviour. Many of the boys appear simultaneously to comply with and oppose theprevalent norms, thereby exposing the difficulties of negotiating the multiplevoices of masculinity.

Providinga rich interpretation of how emotional processes affect black adolescent males,Langa suggests interventions and services to support and assist them,especially in reducing high-risk behaviours generally associated with hegemonicmasculinity.

Thisis essential reading for students, researchers and scholars of gender studieswho wish to understand manhood and masculinity in South Africa. Psychologists,youth workers, lay counsellors and teachers who work with adolescent boys willalso find it invaluable. Understanding of new developments in publishingindustry (Involves research and strategic thinking skills)

Chapter 1 What makes a man a man?
Chapter 2 Reshaping masculinities – Understanding the lives of adolescent boys
Chapter 3 Backdrop to Alex – South African townships and stories in context
Chapter 4 Absent fathers, present mothers
Chapter 5 Pressures to perform – Tsotsi boys vs academic achievement
Chapter 6 Double standards – Dating, sex and girls
Chapter 7 Defying homophobia: ‘This is who I am, finish and klaar’
Chapter 8 Young fathers and the world of work
Chapter 9 ‘I’m still hopeful, still positive’ – Holding onto a dream
Chapter 10 Safe spaces – Listening, hearing, action