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Title: Men's constructions of masculinity following surgical treatment for prostate cancer
Author: Blanco, Monica Guerrero
ISNI:       0000 0004 2698 8344
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2006
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There are a variety of medical approaches to treat prostate cancer. Radical prostatectomy involves the surgical removal of the prostate gland and it has physical consequences. All the participants of this study underwent this medical procedure and were consequently impotent. Erectile problems are a serious matter particularly in a culture where sexuality is the essence of what defines an individual as a man. This study is a qualitative exploration of men's constructions of masculinity after radical prostatectomy. Seven men took part in this study and were recruited through the Urology Department at a National Health Service Hospital. The data was transcribed and analysed using Foucauldian Discourse Analysis. Participants drew on three discourses to refer to their general views of masculinity. They viewed themselves as having been 'mentally resilient' and having an 'indestructible body' which 'functioned naturally'. Once the consequences of treatment were apparent, participants were not able to sustain the view they had of themselves before prostate cancer. They then drew upon discourses of 'vulnerability' to account for the physical changes experienced after treatment. Participants constructed their physical vulnerability drawing on a normalising discourse whereby vulnerability was considered a natural consequence of recovering from an illness and getting older. Lastly, some men were able to separate potency from manliness and felt empowered to reformulate and widen out their construction of masculinity. However their reformulation did not essentially change the hegemonic view of masculinity. It was adapted to bring it closer to what was possible after the operation. The functions, effects and consequences of those constructions are discussed. In addition, the implications of these findings and a critical evaluation of the study are presented.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available