Kimmel, Michael S. 1951- (Michael Scott Kimmel)

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Kimmel, Michael S. 1951- (Michael Scott Kimmel)


Born February 26, 1951, in New York, NY; son of Edwin H. Kimmel and Barbara Diamond. Education: Vassar College, B.A., 1972; Brown University, M.A., 1974; University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D., 1981.


Home—Brooklyn, NY. Office—Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, S-401, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794-4356; fax: 631-632-8203. E-mail—[email protected]


Bryant College, Smithfield, RI, instructor in sociology, 1973; State University of New York College at Oneonta, Oneonta, instructor in sociology, 1973-74; University of California, Berkeley, instructor in sociology, 1974-76; University of California, Santa Cruz, visiting lecturer, 1977-81; Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, assistant professor of sociology, 1982-86; State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, professor of sociology, 1987—. Guest lecturer at more than 200 other institutions; workshop presenter. Interviewed for the documentary No Safe Place: Violence against Women, produced by KUED-Television for Public Broadcasting Service, Salt Lake City, UT; expert witness on sex discrimination for Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice.


American Sociological Association, National Organization for Men against Sexism (national spokesperson), California Anti-sexist Men's Political Caucus.


Fellow of Institute for International Studies, Chancellor's Patent Fund, and William A. Clark Memorial Library; grants from Spencer Foundation.


Absolutism and Its Discontent: State and Society in Seventeenth-Century France and England, Transaction Books (New Brunswick, NJ), 1988.

Revolution: A Sociological Interpretation, Temple University Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1990.

Manhood in America: A Cultural History, Free Press (New York, NY), 1996, 2nd edition, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2006.

The Gendered Society, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2000, 3rd edition, 2007.

The Gender of Desire: Essays on Male Sexuality, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 2005.

The History of Men: Essays in the History of American and British Masculinities, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 2005.

(With Amy Aronson) Sociology Now, Pearson/Allyn & Bacon (Boston, MA), 2008.

Guyland: The Inner World of Young Men, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2008.

Contributor to books, including introduction to Mundus Foppensis [and] The Levellers, William A. Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA), 1988; Theorizing Masculinities, Sage Publications (Thousand Oaks, CA), 1994; and foreword to Boyhood, Growing up Male: A Multicultural Anthology, edited by Franklin Abbott, 1998. Former columnist for Psychology Today. Contributor of articles and reviews to periodicals, including Society, Feminist Issues, Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality, Duke Journal of Gender Law and Policy, New York Times Book Review, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and Harvard Business Review.


Changing Men: New Directions in Research on Men and Masculinity, Sage Publications (Newbury Park, CA), 1987.

(With Michael A. Messner) Men's Lives, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1989, 7th edition, Pearson/Allyn & Bacon (Boston, MA), 2007.

Love Letters between a Certain Late Nobleman and the Famous Mr. Wilson, Haworth (New York, NY), 1990.

Men Confront Pornography, Crown (New York, NY), 1990.

(With Thomas E. Mosmiller) Against the Tide: "Pro-Feminist" Men in the United States, 1776-1990, a Documentary History, Beacon (Boston, MA), 1992.

The Politics of Manhood: Profeminist Men Respond to the Mythopoetic Men's Movement (and Mythopoetic Leaders Answer), Temple University Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1995.

(With Charles Stephen) Social and Political Theory: Classical Readings, Allyn & Bacon (Boston, MA), 1998, revised edition (with Matthew Mahler) published as Classical Social Theory, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2007.

(And author of introduction) Martin P. Levine, Gay Macho: The Life and Death of the Homosexual Clone, New York University Press (New York, NY), 1998.

(With Amy Aronson) Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Women and Economics: A Study of the Economic Relations between Men and Women as a Factor in Social Evolution, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1998.

(With Amy Aronson) The Gendered Society Reader, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2000, 3rd edition, 2008.

(With Abby Ferber) Privilege: A Reader, Westview Press (Boulder, CO), 2003.

(With Amy Aronson) Men and Masculinities: A Social, Cultural, and Historical Encyclopedia, American Bibliographical Center-Clio Press (Santa Barbara, CA), 2004.

(With Rebecca Plante) Sexualities: Identities, Behaviors, and Society, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2004.

(With Jeff Hearn and R.W. Connell) Handbook of Studies on Men and Masculinities, Sage Publications (Thousand Oaks, CA), 2005.

The Sexual Self: The Construction of Sexual Scripts, Vanderbilt University Press (Nashville, TN), 2007.

Editor of book series "Men and Masculinities," University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), and "Sage Series on Men and Masculinities" (annuals), Sage Publications (Thousand Oaks, CA). Contributing editor, San Francisco Review of Books, 1977-85, and Psychology Today; corresponding editor, Theory and Society, 1979-84; book review editor, Society, 1981; book editor, Changing Men, 1983—; editor, Men and Masculinities.


Michael S. Kimmel is a sociologist who has published various volumes on male culture. Notable among his writings is Manhood in America: A Cultural History, which explores the ways that notions of masculinity have influenced, and have been influenced by, American culture. In this volume Kimmel argues that men have long been motivated by the desire or need to prove their masculinity. He traces the ways in which the American concept of masculinity, influenced by social and economic changes and pressure, have evolved. He also speculates on the ways in which notions—and representations—of masculinity might further change in the near future. "Kimmel has culled every testosterone tract of the last two centuries in order to find out not what men did, but what they were advised to do," Sam Fussell noted in his Washington Post Book Review critique of the work.

Natalie Coulter, reviewing the book for Humanities and Social Sciences Online, noted that Kimmel's history begins in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, when Kimmel believes the so-called Self-Made Man evolved. "According to him," wrote Coulter, "the Self-Made Man was ‘a model of accumulated wealth and status.’ As a model, the Self-Made Man has shaped the construction of masculinity in American culture up until the present era."

Kimmel tackles gender issues again in the anthology Men's Lives, which he compiled with Michael Messner. In this anthology, Kimmel and Messner include essays organized around issues men face at different stages of their lives, including early-life issues such as elementary school and Boy Scouts, and later-life issues, including sports, health, and family roles. In a review of this book for Sex Roles, John M. Robertson cited the collection for its depth, noting that articles included in the anthology explored these topics from various vantage points.

Kimmel and Amy Aronson edited the 1998 edition of Women and Economics: A Study of the Economic Relations between Men and Women as a Factor in Social Evolution. The book, originally published in 1898, is author Charlotte Perkins Gilman's study of economics and women's dependence on men. Gilman felt that because of this dependence, the sexual relationship was also an economic relationship. She carried this theory further, saying that economics is the basis for all class inequities. Gilman was an intellectual and lecturer who became less notable during the conservatism of the 1920s.

Ann J. Lane reviewed the book for Industrial and Labor Relations Review. Lane singled out the authors' introduction that ties in Gilman's subsequent writings. Lane disagreed with their view of not considering Gilman a socialist. "I do," said Lane, "and more to the point, she did. She was strongly opposed to Marx's notions of class struggle and the necessity for violence, relying instead on a belief in moral suasion." Lane said that in discussing Gilman's Herland, for which Gilman is most well known, Kimmel and Aronson interpret Gilman's message to her readers as a proposal to consider the way in which society could develop with no men in it. "I believe," wrote Lane, that "Gilman wrote Herland as a way of inviting readers to recognize the potential for and meaning of genuine autonomy for women, rather than to judge or condemn men." Lane noted that Gilman is again an important figure, with a society and newsletter dedicated to her. Her books are being reprinted, and sociologists and economists are adding their voices, although Lane felt that the field of economics has not yet recognized her contribution. "Perhaps this edition, appearing at this time, will enlarge her audience," said Lane.

Kimmel wrote The Gendered Society as a text for his sociology students, including research on how gender affects marriage, the family, parenting, work, and school. He proposes that men and women, rather than being from different planets and being opposite sexes, are "neighboring sexes." He writes that there are more variations within the sexes than between them. A Publishers Weekly reviewer said that "although Kimmel's emphasis is frequently on the necessity of transforming masculinity … he is scrupulous in maintaining balance and comprehensiveness."



Dissent, fall, 1992, Ruth Rosen, review of Against the Tide: "Pro-Feminist" Men in the United States, 1776-1990, a Documentary History, pp. 539-541.

Gender and Society, September, 1993, Peter J. Stein, review of Men's Lives, p. 462.

Industrial and Labor Relations Review, January, 2000, Ann J. Lane, review of Women and Economics: A Study of the Economic Relations between Men and Women as a Factor in Social Evolution, p. 326.

Nation, November 17, 1997, Fred Pfeil, review of Manhood in America: A Cultural History, p. 30.

Publishers Weekly, February 21, 2000, review of The Gendered Society, p. 79.

Sex Roles: Journal of Research, September, 1995, John M. Robertson, review of Men's Lives, p. 459.

Voice Literary Supplement, April, 1990, review of Men Confront Pornography, pp. 16-17.

Washington Post Book World, November 5, 1995, Sam Fussell, review of Manhood in America, pp. 1, 14.


Humanities and Social Sciences Online, (June 4, 2000), Natalie Coulter, review of Manhood in America.

PBS: No Safe Place: Violence against Women, (August 14, 2000).