Boyhood Melancholia and the Vocal Projection of Masculinity

M. Ashley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review


This article explores the existential status of ten to fourteen year old boys through a full time, research council funded study of young masculinity and voice. Drawing on the ideas of writers who have suggested this period can be a melancholic one, the article interprets qualitative data derived from boy singers and "peer audience" groups in schools. It is found that the voice does contribute to existential difficulties for boys concerned as much about being "not child" as "not girl" but unable to attain adult masculinity. The period is one of great cultural difficulty for young males and many avoid the issues. Yet the boys who enjoyed using their voices were the less prone to melancholia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-45
JournalTHYMOS: Journal of Boyhood Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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