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Packaging Boyhood: Saving Our Sons from Superheroes, Slackers, and Other Media Stereotypes
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Packaging Boyhood: Saving Our Sons from Superheroes, Slackers, and Other Media Stereotypes

3.33 of 5 stars 3.33  ·  rating details  ·  39 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Player. Jock. Slacker. Competitor. Superhero. Goofball. Boys are besieged by images in the media that encourage slacking over studying; competition over teamwork; power over empower - ment; and being cool over being yourself. From cartoons to video games, boys are bombarded with stereotypes about what it means to be a boy, including messages about violence, risktaking, and...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by St. Martin's Press
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Sarah
The case here was harder, I think for the authors to make. It is easily summarized. Boys are pressured to be best, to win, and to be powerful whether this particularly interests them or not.

They lost me when they complained about Guitar Hero, but they caught me again when they brought up the issue of homophobia.

It's possible that girls are accused of homosexuality when they refuse to conform, but largely I think we are more often accused of being "mannish." Ultimately, that's not so bad because...more
Carol Mann Agency
Player. Jock. Slacker. Competitor. Superhero. Goofball. Boys are besieged by images in the media that encourage slacking over studying; competition over teamwork; power over empower - ment; and being cool over being yourself. From cartoons to video games, boys are bombarded with stereotypes about what it means to be a boy, including messages about violence, risktaking, and perfecting an image of just not caring.
Straight from the mouths of over 600 boys surveyed from across the U.S., the authors...more
Jennifer
I'd just say this book was "ok" for me. It made several good points that I'd absolutely agree with (the problem with stereotypes and how they are taught to boys--the slacker, the player, etc.; the problem with media and video games, etc.)

But I felt like there were some things missing here. 1) The book offered a lot of problems, but few solutions. Minor example: Stereotypical baby clothes--trucks, bugs, sports, "tough guy," etc.--were pounced upon. But what would the author like to see instead?

2)...more
Sarah
I would give this another half-star, but I didn't enjoy this as much as
"Packaging Girlhood." I think both books are very important for parents to read. In general, our society needs to work much harder on media literacy so that our children grow up informed and able to recognize the stereotypes that are being sold to them. At the same time, I know I always say that when I have kids I'll be different, I'll encourage all of their interests. But who knows if I'll actually be able to do so. It's a...more
Stephanie Dinnen-Reini
I really, really wanted to like this book more than I did. And if possible would have given it 2.5 out of 5 stars. Not because it isn't well written, it is and the authors are subject matter experts to wit.

However, nothing in here really smacks you over the head as profound, original or even really all that insightful the way that the companion book Packaging Girlhood did or Orenstein's Cinderella Ate My Daughter. Lamb and colleagues seem to take issue with every type of boy standard there is,...more
Michelle Wheeler
As a media literacy advocate, I love the practicality of this book. Though it retains a whiff of academia, it's still accessible enough for the average reader. Though there will, of course, be specific examples given where readers may or may not agree with the authors' assessment, the real value of a book like this is in its thought-provoking nature. Whether you buy into a specific example, you will hopefully walk away with your critical thinking skills a little more finely tuned, and your power...more
Brittney
Admittedly, I only read the introduction, most of the first chapter, and the last chapter. It quickly became apparent that most of the book was merely a litany of things I'm already aware of: most little boys' clothing is covered in trucks and footballs; much rap music is misogynistic. The answers to my real question - what do I /do/ about it? - are brief and buried near the back. I had high hopes for this book based on Peggy Orenstein's recommendation, but its actual usefulness turned out to be...more
Anne
Interesting
Had to read a chapter at a time because it was dense and thought provoking.
Somehow, the girl version felt more readable. Why?

Does not resonate with me because of James' temperament?
Girl version did because of who Abby and Carrie are?

Could be helpful to parents..good to have in parenting library, especially if one's son is a traditionally minded boy.
Beth
I couldn't get through all of this, but I read about half the chapters. The writing isn't the best and for the most part the arguments are nothing new. I usually find books about commercialism and children interesting but in this case I just couldn't muster the indignation the authors were aiming for.
Sue
Interesting look at what boys wear, watch, read and play/do. The chapter on boys and reading is pertinent and might be a good read for librarian groups. Some of the ideas are repetitive throughout the book. Good lists at end of reading section divided by age group.
Alisha
It comes from the same authors of gritty Packaging Girlhood only THIS time we see what it is like for the oppsite sex-boys.
Boys are sold that they have to be manly to be "a real man".
LOVE this.
Nadine
Really good reflexion on how the media affects or sons and practical advice on how to deal with it.
Mostly though: don't try to ban anything, show others stuff and talk about it.
R. C.
I found myself questioning many of their conclusions. My coparent and I have five boys. None of them have been sucked into these stereotypes. Perhaps we have been lucky.
Robert Marsh
Something deplorable and wrong-headed on every page. Sometimes in every sentence. Reminds me of Fredric Wertham.
Rita
Dec 12, 2009 Rita marked it as to-read
Shelves: non-fiction
listed by Ms. fall 2009 as a good book for adults, along with

Packaging firlhood,
by Lamb and Brown.
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