Reading Between the Lines: Subjectivity and Men’s Violence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article discusses the relative merits of psychoanalytic and psychodiscursive approaches to the study of masculinities and men’s violence. The case histories of four men are presented and analyzed. Two of these men were antisexist men seeking to help other men to change, and the other two were men who were getting help to stop being violent. Using these case histories, this article seeks to demonstrate that psychic experience is not a simple product of social discourses, and therefore masculinity cannot be straightforwardly read off from what men say. The article concludes by arguing that the psychoanalytic notion of a defended subject draws our attention to the unities among men more effectively than psychodiscursive approaches precisely because it is able to acknowledge biographically mediated differences between men.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-354
Number of pages22
JournalMen and Masculinities
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003