Wednesday, November 10, 2010

This American Life and Masculinity at Summer Camp?

Since we were talking about men in the military the other day, I thought I would share this episode of This American Life (109: Notes on Camp). The episode's theme is summer camp, and, to be completely honest, the majority of the content is pretty boring. But one segment is pretty interesting because it deals with masculinity and homosocial bonds as they relate to a summer camp set in Israel meant to replicate the experience of being a member of the Israeli Defense Force. In the story, Adam Davidson relates how he went to this camp and found that it was very difficult to fit in since he was not as adept as the other members in performing various military exercises. He was able to remain popular, however, by humorously performing homosexual tendencies.

Anyway, it's an interesting story, and if you have eight minutes or so you should definitely give it a listen; it does, after all, make certain implication about how heternormativity is reinforced in masculine social situations via temporary homosexual performances (also discussed in the C. J. Pascoe article, "'Dude, You're a Fag': Adolescent Masculinity and the Fag Discourse").

The story worth listening to begins at 29:30 and ends at 37:45.

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