Is masculinity in crisis? : a discourse analytic study of men and masculinities




Allen, Tanya Rose.

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This thesis employed semi-structured interviews to explore how a sample of Canadian men articulate their beliefs and experiences of masculine identity in the context of a contemporary crisis of hegemonic masculinity. Participants included four men from the conservative Christian organization, the Promise Keepers, with three other men as comparison. Participants discussed the traditional importance of men's roles as breadwinners and leaders in their families, and complementary roles for wives as homemakers and primary caregivers for children. They also acknowledged pressures for men to adapt in response to contemporary challenges to hegemonic masculinity. Responses included attempts to reinstate patriarchal forms of masculinity, to redefine masculinity, and to abandon it altogether in favour of more egalitarian gender roles. These findings support Connell's claim that hegemonic masculinity is threatened by changes in relations of production, power and cathexis, and show how men are seeking to adapt in response to these.