Becoming a Man: Contemporary Experiences of Achieving Manhood




Klath, Cory Jason

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This novel study explores the catalytic experiences that demarcate the achievement of manhood and the means by which the participants knew this transition had occurred. Its significance is in its unique findings and contribution to a largely unexplored topic in the research literature. Qualitative methodologies, including narrative interviewing and thematic analysis, were used. Ten individuals were interviewed and asked to tell the story of when they became men and how they knew. Thematic findings include experiences that led to gaining attributes associated with self-reliance and changes related to fathers or fatherhood. The participants uniformly reported that the significance was known by virtue of experiencing a distinct ‘felt sense.’ Social validation was also noted as a key feature. Further research is recommended including the exploration of this same issue with specific populations and groups, with the larger goal of enhancing the current understanding of these issues by encouraging further dialog in effort to explore the meanings associated with manhood in the contemporary context.



becoming a man, manhood achievement, masculine identity, men