How do men negotiate a masculine identity in different contexts?
The aim of this research is to investigate how men negotiate a masculine identity in different contexts, using Dialogical Self Theory. As a first step, it was important to explore whether or not men do perform their masculinity differently in various contexts. Only once this was done, did the research move into investigating the methods used by men to negotiate a masculine identity based on multiple performances of masculinity. Using a qualitative design, six men, between the ages of 18 and 50, were interviewed. All the participants were either married or in a long-term relationship, and all the participants were employed. This purposeful selection of the participants allowed for comparisons of performances of masculinity at work, with friends and with the spouse/girlfriend. The results revealed that the participants do indeed perform multiple versions of masculinity or take up various masculine “I-positions” in different contexts. The findings also show that men use a variety of strategies to negotiate a sense of masculine identity based on multiple I-positions. Dialogical self theory is employed to understand this phenomenon.