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Nine Centuries of ManManhood and Masculinity in Scottish History$
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Lynn Abrams and Elizabeth L. Ewan

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474403894

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474403894.001.0001

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Speaking to the ‘Hard Men’: Masculinities, Violence and Youth Gangs in Glasgow, c. 1965–75

Speaking to the ‘Hard Men’: Masculinities, Violence and Youth Gangs in Glasgow, c. 1965–75

(p.258) 13 Speaking to the ‘Hard Men’: Masculinities, Violence and Youth Gangs in Glasgow, c. 1965–75
Nine Centuries of Man

Angela Bartie

Alistair Fraser

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter unites perspectives from history and sociology in excavating the lived experiences of everyday masculinities and violence that lie behind the persistent image of the Glasgow ‘hard man’, while also interrogating popular representations of the ‘hard city’. Drawing on oral history interviews with individuals involved in violent territorialism – specifically through street-based ‘gangs’ of young men – c. 1965-1975, it contrasts popular representations of the Glasgow ‘hard man’ with the lived experiences of those living and working in the city at that time. Focusing specifically on Easterhouse, it highlights the prominence of ‘the street’ in narrative accounts of masculine identity formation for young working-class men and links this to the specific social, cultural and economic composition of the locale. Overall, it argues that such ‘street’ masculinities should be understood in historical context, recognising the influence of local cultures of machismo on the persistence of forms of masculine identity.

Keywords:   Glasgow, gangs, violence, masculinity, hard man, oral history, sociology, Scotland, working class

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