“I am a man.” This slogan, used on occasion by civil rights unionists, advanced a particular conception of manhood. In the mid-century United States, the key elements of this version of masculinity, including respect on the job and a living wage, had appeal across racial, and even gender, divides. In fact, as Stephen Meyer demonstrates, white male autoworkers were among those who believed respectful treatment in the workplace and an ample paycheck were vital components of manhood. But those same white male autoworkers also defined manhood in other ways that differed from, and sometimes contradicted, the aspirations of civil rights activists and advocates of gender equality. Those contradictions had decisive consequences for working-class solidarity. To make sense of the meanings of white masculinity among twentieth-century American autoworkers, Meyer’s analysis ranges widely. Industrial technology, workgroup dynamics, workplace violence, and horseplay are all...
Review Article| December 01 2017
Manhood on the Line: Working-Class Masculinities in the American Heartland by Stephen Meyer
Manhood on the Line: Working-Class Masculinities in the American Heartland, Meyer, Stephen,
University of Illinois Press,
2016, xiii + 247 pp., $95.00 (cloth); $28.00 (paper)
Labor (2017) 14 (4): 111–112.
Bryant Etheridge; Manhood on the Line: Working-Class Masculinities in the American Heartland by Stephen Meyer. Labor 1 December 2017; 14 (4): 111–112. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/15476715-4209532
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