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Hill, S. (2011). The Inner Life of Boys: A Review of Boyhoods: Rethinking Masculinities, by Ken Corbett. Psychoanal. Perspect., 8(1):100-110.

(2011). Psychoanalytic Perspectives, 8(1):100-110

Book Review

The Inner Life of Boys: A Review of Boyhoods: Rethinking Masculinities, by Ken Corbett

Review by:
Sarah Hill, LCSW

Ken Corbett's Boyhoods: Rethinking Masculinities is one of the more stirring psychoanalytic contributions to be published in a long while. Corbett's lyrical prose and gift for storytelling, his expansive mind and norm-busting theorizing, and his deeply felt love for his patients make Boyhoods thoroughly engrossing to read. At the outset, he frames his project: “The challenge ahead is to capture boyhoods without dropping that -s; to tap the exclamation of masculinity and not overlook that which is cloaked in defense; to appreciate the affection of boys, while duly noting the aggression that may more often characterize their play; to recognize the femininity in masculinity; to grasp the condition known as boyhood, but at the same time recognize the contingencies (social, racial, historical, economic, religious) that qualify that condition, making it plural” (p. 4). And while Corbett manages to do all of this, he goes even further. He deftly conveys the feel of rigorous and brave analytic process, making this an excellent text for general technique; and he beckons us into the earnest world of children by contagiously sharing the sense of wonder and respect he holds for the boys he encounters in his consulting room.

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