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#NoHomo: Men’s Friendships, or “Something Else”

  • Frank G. KariorisEmail author
  • Jonathan A. Allan
Chapter
Part of the Queer Studies and Education book series (QSTED)

Abstract

What might it mean for two men, two friends, to set out to write about men’s friendships? We see collaboration, as a method/theory, as providing personal and scholastic depth. This chapter is of twofold importance: On the one hand, we seek to write self-reflexively about friendship and secondly to write critically about men’s friendships more generally. We stress the importance of the positionality of the authors; simply put, our own experiences of friendship inform our theoretical writings about friendship and the kinds of friendship we imagine possible. Neither of us would particularly align ourselves with Foucauldian thought, and yet, we find ourselves often returning to Foucault. In his analysis of Foucault, Leo Bersani (Foucault against himself. Arsenal Pulp Press, Vancouver, pp. 55–76, 2015) notes that ascesis is “discovering or rediscovering pleasure” and that this pursuit is “a way of rediscovering sociality” (p. 63). The relation between education, ascesis, and friendship will act as a springboard for locating not only the types of friendships, but also the means by which they are enacted and act. In this chapter, we will dwell on friendship, pleasure (not desire), and (homo)sociality to think through a range of theoretical texts that explore men’s relationships. As such, we will think carefully about thirty or so years of critical theory on men’s relations, working to think against and through orienting those very relationships. In this way, we seek to elaborate on the pleasures of friendship that are particular to masculinity and explore a pedagogy of ascesis of men’s friendships. Curiously, one item we aim to think carefully about is the “degaying” gesture (Bersani in Homos. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1996) that is found in many of these texts, as if they work hard to imagine a friendship between men without oriented sexualities.

Keywords

#NoHomo Friendship Collaboration Masculinities 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Brandon UniversityBrandonCanada

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