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Distributed for University of Wales Press

Representing the Male

Masculinity, Genre and Social Context in Six South Wales Novels

A study of masculinity in six Welsh novels, linking the critique of structural patriarchy to that of industrial capitalism. 

The book undertakes a gendered analysis of the male characters in six South Wales novels written between 1936 and 2014, uncovering a critique of the form of masculine hegemony propagated by structural patriarchy and industrial capitalism. The novels depict characters confined to a limited repertoire of culturally endorsed behavioral norms that prohibit the expression and cultivation of the self. Ideologically subservient and “feminized” in the context of work, the working-class characters are ideologically dominant and “masculinized” at home. As the characters negotiate, resist, or strive to reconcile the irreconcilable demands of such gendered practices, Jenkins shows how recurring patterns of exclusion, inadequacy, and mental instability become evident in their representation.

256 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

Gender Studies in Wales

Gender and Sexuality

Literature and Literary Criticism: General Criticism and Critical Theory

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"This innovative and illuminating analysis of the representation of masculinity in south Wales coalfield fiction digs deep beneath the surface of the texts and mines a rich seam of profound gender complexity and contradiction. To read it is an energising intellectual experience, which highlights the general relevance of these novels."

Jane Aaron, University of South Wales | University of Wales Press

"John Jenkins’s sensitive and acute exploration of these novels reinstates the unjustly overlooked Ron Berry into the canon, and persuasively demonstrates that damaged and toxic masculinities are still a feature of post-industrial and post-devolution Welsh literary cultures – this is a fine addition to the field of Welsh literary masculinities."

Aidan Byrne, University of Wolverhampton | University of Wales Press

"Jenkins’s book is a long-overdue, trenchant and exceptionally perceptive analysis of the culture of masculinity in the Valleys, as represented in some key industrial novels including Lewis Jones’s Cwmardy and Menna Gallie’s Strike for a Kingdom. Ranging from the 1930s to the 1980s, it shows how a persistently macho culture can repress and warp both women and men … For Welsh readers, particularly, this is an essential book, analysing a phenomenon that is so ingrained in our culture that it has for too long been simply accepted as the norm."

Katie Gramich, Cardiff University | University of Wales Press

Table of Contents

1. Dominant, Residual, Emergent: Forms and Formations of Male
Identity in Gwyn Jones’s Times Like These (1936)
2. Genre and the Tribulations of Masculinity in Lewis Jones’s
Cwmardy (1937)
3. Investigating Genre and Gender in Menna Gallie’s Strike for a Kingdom (1959)
4. Genre and the Embodied Male in Ron Berry’s So Long, Hector Bebb
5. Patriarchy, Power and Politics: Masculinities in Roger Granelli’s
Dark Edge (1997) and Kit Habianic’s Until Our Blood is Dry (2014)

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