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Emerging masculinities: a qualitative analysis of the construction and practice of adolescent masculinities.

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This study aimed to investigate how a sample of South African adolescent boys construct and negotiate their masculine identities from the different versions of being male available to them within their particular social and cultural contexts. This study employed a qualitative research design using the semi-structured interview protocol developed by Frosh et al.(2002). The results of this research consistently reveal that masculinity among adolescent boys is dynamic, multiple and continually being made, performed, resisted and contested. The subjects described different ways of being male, often having to negotiate a coherent masculine identity from many competing, often contradictory versions of masculinity. However hegemonic or 'hard' masculinity remains the dominant standard against which other ways of being male are evaluated. These masculinity constructions show remarkable similarities to those of the English adolescent boys in the Frosh, Phoenix and Pattman (2002) study, which suggests that the hegemonic ideal is particularly wide ranging and well-entrenched in the lives of boys.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.