Cover: Deep Secrets: Boys’ Friendships and the Crisis of Connection, from Harvard University PressCover: Deep Secrets in PAPERBACK

Deep Secrets

Boys’ Friendships and the Crisis of Connection

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Product Details

PAPERBACK

$20.00 • £14.95 • €18.00

ISBN 9780674072428

Publication: May 2013

Academic Trade

336 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

World

The stories that Way and her research team have persuaded boys to tell are a welcome corrective to the stereotyping of males as essentially unfeeling and/or incapable of communicating their feelings, which has been such a striking (and offensive) feature of recent discourse on gender differences. Way deserves our gratitude for bringing to the surface what seems lately to have become the deepest secret of all: that the needs, desires and feelings of boys and girls, or men and women, are at bottom far more similar than different.—Deborah Cameron, Times Higher Education

Deep Secrets tells a story of American teenagers in baggy jeans and T-shirts, with a basketball under the arm, expressing extraordinary sensitivity and tenderness about their same-sex friends, and expecting the same in return. The disappearance of this gentle world, it seems, scars them for life, and appears to do extensive damage to the culture at large… In short, this is an extremely important book, a revelation in a way, and one of the most absorbing academic publications I’ve ever had the privilege of reading.—Bradley Winterton, The Taipei Times

[Deep Secrets] offers a surprising glimpse into the hearts of American boys, revealing a group of lonely young men who crave acceptance and belonging and deeply miss the friendships of their childhood… Compulsively readable… Way recounts the hundreds of interviews her team conducted in American high schools. The voices present are heartbreakingly authentic in revealing a pattern, a gradual drift away from ‘emotionally intimate same-sex friendships’ with other boys and toward a destructive stereotype of manliness that perpetuate the false notion that ‘boys are only interested in one thing.’Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Way’s book should provide encouragement to parents wondering whether they are setting their children, especially their sons, up for abuse by encouraging closeness and defiance of gender stereotypes, particularly those concerning close same-sex friends. Way asserts that the need and ability for connection is as keen in boys as it is in girls, and she backs up her assertion with plenty of data and close reading of the literature. Connection is not something one needs to teach, as the author so eloquently demonstrates; it is something one needs to foster. The text is beautifully written, and the boys’ stories are interspersed with explanations and discussion substantiated by the literature. A truly approachable piece of work for a wide audience.—J. F. Heberle, Choice

Deep Secrets is a much needed and insightful book. Niobe Way rescues us from the simplistic view that ‘boys will be boys’ to reveal the depth of boys’ emotional lives. From her careful and extensive research over two decades comes a compelling and memorable portrait of real boys’ lives.—Gary Barker, author of Dying to Be Men: Youth, Masculinity, and Social Exclusion

The book that changes the discussion about boys. Let the secret out!—Michael Kaufman, author of Cracking the Armour: Power, Pain, and the Lives of Men

Way’s moving analysis of the intimate lives of boys challenges the reader to reconsider many of the widely held assumptions about what it means to grow up male in America today. By sharing their stories of loss, their fears of rejection, their hopes and dreams of connection, Way introduces us to the world of adolescent males so that we can see them as they are and not as we may have imagined.—Pedro A. Noguera, author of The Trouble with Black Boys

In Way’s groundbreaking Deep Secrets, boys who have long been obscured by cultural myths come alive and let us all in on their most promising, most human dimensions. This is a book that should start educators and parents rethinking how we support our sons’ lives.—Michael C. Reichert, coauthor of Reaching Boys, Teaching Boys

Awards & Accolades

  • A Choice Outstanding Academic Title of 2011
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