Authors: Richard Majors and Janet Mancini Billson
Behind the mask of cool--a clear-eyed look at how African American inner-city youths defend themselves against the indignities, inequities, and injuries of ghetto life--a pose that leads to the real alienation of these young men from both the white world and their own communities. Relevant to police-community relations today.
Janet Mancini Billson (Author), Richard Majors (Foreword) 1996, Abingdon, UK, Philadelphia: Routledge.
In Pathways to Manhood, Billson studies five young boys who grew up in Roxbury, Massachusetts, during the Intense racial and political turmoil of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Using data from Harvard's Pathways to Identity project, she analyzes how healthy ego striving develops in the social and physical decay of an inner-city environment. The author draws a rich and absorbing portrait of each boy and of his life. Although they grew up in the same social context, the boys became very different individuals. In a new preface to this expanded edition, Billson maintains that it is still vitally Important to understand the coping styles that young black males develop in the face of adversity. Bernard E. Bruce traces what happened to the five boys, who are now men in their forties, in his poignant epilogue, "From Boys to Men." A new chapter on intervention strategies shows how parents, teachers, and others who work with inner-city youth can most effectively support positive coping styles. Graphic representations help visualize both the styles and the intervention strategies. This classic book is a valued resource for parents; for those who work in the helping professions, education, and the criminal justice system; and for students of sociological theory, social psychology, human development, and race relations.
Janet Mancini Billson, Kyra Mancini, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield (2007).
Essential reading for those interested in Inuit culture, politics, and gender relations. Highly recommended., CHOICE
Inuit Women talks about how we [the Inuit] cope with surviving in modern times while maintaining the traditional ways. The people explain life from their own experiences, some of them painful and touching, so that you feel an ache in the heart when you fully understand and have been there. Moving from the land to a high-tech society in three generations is a lot to absorb and it is being done here with an openness and ingenuity that is understood by women all over the world. Much of our history is not written yet by our people and this book shows how we can begin to do just that. Our history is still oral, passed down from generation to generation, but once more we are open to a new concept. This book will be passed down as part of our history. -- Ann Meekitjuk Hanson, Commissioner of Iqaluit, Nunavut
If we study the heroic struggle for survival by Arctic women and men too closely, we risk seeing our own reflection, as the greatest test Inuit ever face may well be invasion by our Western culture. Inuit Women is a rare and potent combination―a book that unflinchingly and painstakingly examines this clash of cultures, listening carefully all the while not to miss the subtle poetry of Inuit life lessons. -- John Houston, Arctic filmmaker, Diet of Souls
This is a beautifully written work of feminist ethnography. The authors weave the words of Inuit women into the text, creating a running narrative that gives powerful voice to the women studied while providing an extraordinary contemporary ethnography of Inuit women. The book is original, for few who study indigenous people evidence such strong concern about women and their social problems—domestic violence, depression among youth, and high rates of suicide. The authors also confront the new, unfolding Nunavut identity and the potential for redefinition of male-female relations. These themes, and many others involving women, men, and their children, are woven throughout the text, making Inuit Women a compelling read. -- Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban, Rhode Island College; author of Ethics and Anthropology
Janet Mancini Billson and Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban (authors/editors)
This comparative study of the world’s women from the 20th century will help us to build stronger movements worldwide in the 21st century’
- Dr. Amna El. Badri, Ahfad University for Women, Omdurman, Sudan.
This global surveys starts from the assumption that the significant transformations in women’s lives deserve to be fully documented and interpreted. Janet Mancini Billson and Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban tackle the complexities of social change by using data from countries in every world region to illustrate the most critical challenges that women faced during the last century -- challenges that are also likely to shape the 21st century.
Global knowledge and feminism dovetailed in the 20th century, fed by international air travel, telecommunications, the Internet, and a growing awareness that solving female oppression would improve the lot of all humankind. The authors therefore adopt a strong international, comparative, cross-cultural, and feminist framework that uncovers the fundamental processes that promote, sustain, or degrade the female condition.
At the heart of Female Well-Being are case studies written by country teams of scholars, educators, and policy analysts in Canada, the United States, Colombia, Iceland, the United Kingdom, Croatia, Japan, Bangladesh, Thailand, South Africa, and Sudan. Female well-being is measured by analysing trends in infant mortality, maternal mortality, literacy, life expectancy, education, work, income, family structure, and political power. These trends are contextualised in light of the century’s major events, legislative initiatives, social policies, and leadership, to illustrate the processes that enhance, sustain, or detract from the female condition. This book is a critical resource for academics, development experts, and policy analysts.
Janet Mancini Billson
Order from Jmbillson@gdiworld.com
Brings new and seldom heard voices to the feminist debate Janet Mancini Billson lets you listen to the voices of women of color, native women, and rural and immigrant women. She shows us the dilemmas they face working to preserve the positive parts of their culture that provide identity and closeness among generations, while casting off the negative parts of their heritage that may hold them back. Provides an alternative to the middle class, white, North American mainstream that has until now dominated our perceptions of women.
All women have much to gain from understanding women whose very definition of liberation and power may differ greatly from their own. Billson explores the lives of women in seven distinct cultural communities in Canada -- Iroquois, Blood, Inuit, Mennonite, Jamaican, Chinese, and Ukrainian -- and reveals how their roles and the balance of power between men and women have shifted as their communities have moved from traditional to more contemporary lifestyles.
The main purpose of my research is to uncover some of that scattered data with particular attention to the question of how gender roles and power relations between men and women have changed within these distinct cultural communities in Canada. The research has already led to the creation of a new methodology and will generate theories of social change, with implications for Canadian public policy.
The need for a second volume of the book, focusing on several different communities, is underscored by the consistently positive attitude this research project has engendered among respondents and university faculty members and librarians I have spoken to across Canada, not to mention the fact that a contract will likely be forthcoming from Lexington Books based on the projected success of the first volume.
It is almost 25 years since this book was first published. When I interviewed women and men in the 1980s and 1990s, awareness of the complexities of gender relations was just beginning to permeate beyond feminist circles in any significant way. Recognition of the devastating effects of illiteracy and domestic violence was becoming more public. Office talk around the cooler included phrases such as “the glass ceiling,” “token female,” and “pay inequity.” Sexual harassment training and gender sensitivity workshops were found in enlightening corners. Anticipation of a new millennium and a new beginning loomed on the horizon.
The Beijing World Conference for Women in 1995 had driven home two core messages: First, we are all sisters, regardless of where we live on this planet, and we share a common history of gender subordination. Second, it was time to stop the patterns that kept women down and in our place. The remarkable gathering of over 40,000 women in China declared that the place of females must be elevated in every society. No exceptions.
Keepers was published in 1996, gliding buoyantly onto that sea of hope and dreams of gender equality. Progress has been made on many fronts, no doubt, but gender persists into the 21st century as a defining variable in one’s life chances, privileges, and worldview. In spite of global feminism, international women’s conferences, and some impressive policy gains in unlikely places like Rwanda, where women now constitute 49% of Parliamentarians, or in Iceland, where strong women carve out strong lives, women still suffer from multiple layers of disadvantage. Everywhere, their options are narrowed, their literacy constrained, and their voices stifled. Everywhere, girls are asked to serve their brothers. Everywhere, women continue to work the double shift inside and outside the home.
The analysis in Keepers of how gender regimes are created and recreated—by male dominance and female submission—is timeless. Each case study brings anew the world of power struggling and power sharing between men and women. How males gain ascendancy, how females perpetuate male superiority, how males handcuff women’s development, and how females resist—these lessons continue to be all too relevant and all too real.