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Title: Deadly masculinities : towards a theatrical toolbox for exploring identity and HIV with young Malawian men
Author: Chisiza, Zindaba Dunduzu
ISNI:       0000 0004 6350 1320
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2017
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My thesis examines the effectiveness of a range of participatory theatre-based methodologies as tools for enabling young men to examine and interrogate dangerous formulations of masculinity. My hypothesis was that current applications of Theatre for Development in Malawi are woefully inadequate for the purpose of meaningfully engaging with young men in order to help them stay sexually safe and to examine their understandings of Malawian masculinities. Therefore, my study primarily set out to investigate what theatre forms can be impactful for engaging with young men to explore these masculinities that increase their, and their partners, HIV risk and to enable them to define themselves as male in alternative ways that mitigate high-risk sexual behaviours and violence against women. In chapter one, I discuss the history of popular theatre in Malawi. Chapter two analyses the existing problems with the teaching of TfD at Chancellor College and NGO TfD methodologies in contemporary Malawi. In chapter three, I discuss my practical theatre-based experiments on masculinity and HIV with groups of male students from two secondary schools (Mulunguzi and Dzenza) and one university campus (Chancellor), before concluding with the findings of my research. I argue that in Malawi young men are under social pressure to perform masculinities that increase their HIV risk, and that of their partners, in order to affirm themselves as men. They do this by taking on high-risk sexual practices such as not using condoms, having multiple sex partners and being violent towards women. It is my contention that unless young men are engaged to challenge and change these ‘deadly’ constructions of masculine gender identity the disease will continue to spread. My findings show that the methodology I experimented with impacted some participants; however, in order for meaningful change to occur this work needs to be further developed and boys and girls have to be engaged using creative and critical thinking to discuss sexuality, gender and HIV.
Supervisor: Plastow, Jane Sponsor: Dorothie Hewlett Doctoral Scholarship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available