Different than dad: a phenomenological exploration of masculine gender role strain

Tranter, David (2005) Different than dad: a phenomenological exploration of masculine gender role strain. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The purpose of the study is to explore the ways in which men raised during the latter half of the 20th century have experienced and negotiated tensions and conflicts in masculine gender role expectations. In order to capture the complex and dynamic nature of role strain, the research design follows a qualitative phenomenological methodology. Eight men were selected, all of whom were born approximately in the middle of the 20th century. The men varied in terms of age, education, background, and family situation. Each participant was interviewed at length using a semi-structured interview process that included a wide range of topics beginning in childhood and across the life span. The interviews were then transcribed and analyzed according to the presence of dominant themes. The results of the interviews were compared and contrasted with the existing literature on masculinity and Gender Role Strain. -- All of the men experienced multiple pressures to change coming from various sources. Given these many pressures, undertaking change was complex and uncertain in which the men felt little sense of direction. The Gender Role Strain Paradigm and its various strain types did not fit the experience of the men well. While some of their experiences are reflected by the construct, the paradigm provides too superficial and simplistic a framework for fully capturing the complexity of their situation. The men's experience suggests that, for them at least, the pursuit of a singular, fixed and independent masculinity may not only be unrealistic, but may be a poor adaptation to the demands of contemporary society. In order to better reflect the complexity of experience expressed by the men, what seems required is a view of masculinity that does not seek resolution or reconciliation but rather allows for contradiction and conflict. In this way masculinity is not a crisis to be resolved, but rather a complex and dynamic ongoing phenomenon that can take many forms.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9831
Item ID: 9831
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 233-247.
Department(s): Social Work, School of
Date: 2005
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Masculinity; Sex role.

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