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Title: I AM : resistance and ambiguity in the constructions of Black British men
Author: Madar, Poonam
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis examines how black masculinity is constructed, drawing on the accounts of black British men. It is based on field research in London, which consisted of a survey, participant observation, as well as interviews with 'representatives' of 'the black community' and black 'individuals', conducted in late 2007 and 2008. The research took place against the backdrop of on-going violence where black males were portrayed as the main victims and perpetrators of knife and gun crime, as well as the main participants in 'gang' related violence and crime. This thesis first maps the ways in which black men have been constructed within British society, with a focus on the present day. It then goes on to investigate the ways in which black British men as well as sections of 'the black community' respond to dominant constructions of black males in policy and media discourse. It finally considers the alternative ways in which black masculinities are constructed according to black men, namely a group of 20 men of Caribbean descent aged between 18 and 45. This study relies on both qualitative and quantitative methods to explore how black men respond to and negotiate negative representations of black masculinity. In particular, the study relies on the use of visual methods, namely photographs along with in-depth interviewing to generate accounts from black men of the alternative ways in which black masculinity is constructed and how such constructions are arrived at in contemporary Britain. The use of photographs allows for the exploration of not only how individuals see things but also how they see things differently, which can in turn invite new ways of seeing. This thesis argues that stereotypical representations of negative, atavistic, and violent black masculinities as routinely portrayed by the British media continue to form a common theme in the construction of 'the black British community' and the Government responses to these representations. I identify that sections of 'the black community' play an active part in responding to these constructions and highlight how this can considerably affect the ways in which black males are represented. While institutions like the mainstream media, parts of the criminal justice system and senior politicians continue to represent black men primarily as victims and perpetrators of violence, this thesis highlights how black men engage in acts of resistance which invite us to think about the roles of resilience amid ambivalence in the construction of identities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council (Great Britain) (ESRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HM Sociology ; HT Communities. Classes. Races