Performing Manliness.


Poaching has been studied in terms of instrumental behaviour, as an economic strategy of the rural poor. However, poaching has always been of marginal economic significance in the Netherlands. Still, it has not disappeared in the course of this century. On the contrary, game-keepers being preoccupied with catching poachers, and a special police force being entrusted with keeping poaching under control, point to an increasing importance. To understand this phenomenon one has to consider that poaching as well as the efforts directed against it are exclusively male domains. To hunt and to be hunted is a challenge to the men involved: a challenge to measure their strength and cunningness. It is one of the scarce opportunities to perform "manliness": a notion which in "unexciting" modern societies is becoming an anachronism.

How to Cite

Dahles, H., (1990) “Performing Manliness.”, Ethnologia Europaea 21(1), p.19-32. doi:



Heidi Dahles (University of Nijmegen)



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