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How do adult men experience and respond to norms of masculinity and what part (if any) does resistance play in their wellbeing?

Gulliver-Terry, Amy (2018) How do adult men experience and respond to norms of masculinity and what part (if any) does resistance play in their wellbeing? Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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Abstract

Introduction: Research indicates detrimental implications for conforming to masculine norms on psychological well-being, mental health and psychological help seeking in men. However, research predominately focuses on measuring levels of adherence and non-adherence to these norms. This implies a passive process of men’s gender socialisation, which is inconsistent with the social constructivist position which dominates masculinity theory. Less is known about men’s active role in their socialisation and how active resistance to masculine norms might impact well-being. This research explored the question: How do adult men experience and respond to norms of masculinity and what part (if any) does resistance play in their well-being? Method: In depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight White British males between the ages of 25-40 to explore their understanding of societal conceptualisations of masculinity, their own relationship to masculinity, and their experience of resistance to traditional masculinity and implications this may have for their well-being. Results: Five themes emerged from the data: Traditional Masculinity is Understood by All; Relationship with Traditional Masculinity is Not Universally Shared; Societal change creates pressure for change on masculinity; There are costs and benefits to specific masculine norms; and The Gap between the Authentic self and The Masculine Mask. Conclusions: Participants linked Traditional Masculinity (TM) with detrimental impacts for emotional and social well-being. They discussed wanting to resist elements of TM but felt pressure from male peers to conform to TM. Participants discussed this disparity as a gap between their authentic self and outward behaviour when in male dominated environments. Clinical implications include: how restrictive emotionality can be recognised and addressed during interventions; use of humanistic approaches to address self-alienation and increase authentic self-identity; and taking a Positive Psychology Positive Masculinity approach.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Gulliver-Terry, Amy
Date : 28 September 2018
Funders : n/a
DOI : 10.15126/thesis.00849247
Contributors :
ContributionNameEmailORCID
http://www.loc.gov/loc.terms/relators/THSGleeson, Katekate.gleeson@surrey.ac.uk
Depositing User : Amy Gulliver-Terry
Date Deposited : 11 Oct 2018 08:29
Last Modified : 11 Oct 2018 08:29
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/849247

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