Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Don't men care? : emotion, relationship, and individual masculine identity
Author: Milton, James Michael Robert
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This thesis seeks to explore questions of 'individual masculine identity', with reference to hegemonic gender norms concerning men's participation in interpersonal relationships characterised by 'caring'. In the form of empirical research involving in-depth narrative interviews with eight men working in care-related professions (four nurses, three counsellors and a youth mentor), the study considers how gender norms interplay with personal meaning-making in interviewees' constructions of self and gender vis-a-vis their involvement within a 'feminised' area of social life. In this respect, the concept of 'notions if difference' emerges as providing a salient angle on the formation of masculine identity. As interviewees recount their experiences of providing care in an occupational capacity, they are situated in relationship to certain 'public' stereorypic discourses 'about' care-giving men, each discourse underpinned by one of two distinct notions of 'difference', Stereotypic discourses such as 'Male carers are feminine' arid 'Male carers are gay' are based on a cultural logic of the individual man as being 'different as a man' - and 'gender atypical' - for working in care. In contrast, stereotypic discourses such as 'Male carers, as men, pose a sexual risk' and 'Male carers, as men, serve to provide carees with a 'male role model" are underpinned by a cultural logic of the individual man as being 'different as a carer' (that is, 'gender typical'), with 'implications' for his role and his relationships with others. Across all the interviews, 'difference' - in these various and varying discursive forms - is present in how each man organises, and attaches gendered signification to, his care-giving experiences. Importantly, these notions of 'difference' 'act' as both a constraint upon identity (as a source of dis empowerment for the individual and of potential subordination with concern to gender norms) and a resource for identity (as a source of self-empowerment and agency, whether this involves resistance to or complicity in the sustenance of gender convention). In order to highlight the specific nature of interviewees' relationships to notions of 'difference', discussion of the data takes the form of five main data chapters. Each of the first four of these chapters is divided between the narratives of two interviewees, who have been 'paired up' based upon apparent similarities in their situation (e.g., similar work environment, the raising of similar issues), as well as them both invoking particular stereotypic discourses. Here, a psycho-social theorisation of subjectivity (see, for e.g., Hollway and Jefferson 2000) is applied to the data, whereby the biographically unique nature of each interviewee's experiences is emphasised. It is sought, in this application, to consider something of the individually specific anxieties and desires that may inform the construction of masculine identity within, and in respect of, the care-giving context. The fifth data chapter builds on these ideas by unpacking matters of biography, that is, analysing narratives concerning interviewees' broader (non-care-giving, and personal-historical) relations to gender and gender norms; in this context, the potential of a psycho-social perspective for studies of masculine identity is further explored.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available