Collections > Master's Papers > School of Information and Library Science > "That's Just Like a Boy": A Content Analysis of Masculinities in Hardy Boys Mystery Stories, 1927-1932

This study is a content analysis of six Hardy Boys mystery stories from the 1920s and 1930s in order to explore what characteristics and expressions of masculinity are communicated as appropriate, desirable, and admirable. The study concludes that in the books surveyed, women are few in number and male characters are largely at liberty to decide their actions without interference or limitation; that Frank and Joe Hardy reflect all of the hallmarks of "real boys" as defined in the early twentieth century; and that the stories endorse an older model of Victorian masculinity that was falling out of favor while rejecting the newer standards that were replacing them.