Date of Award

1999

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Dr Christopher Sonn

Abstract

Recently, there has been increased attention in understanding factors that influence men's health and wellbeing. This paper examines men's wellbeing and the "male crisis' in Western Society. A brief historical overview is outlined to illustrate how social change has impacted on male gender roles. Men's role in society is discussed in relation to their response to feminism, and gender identity and the concept of masculinity as a social construction is outlined. Factors such as changing gender roles and subsequent role confusion are addressed in connection with men's health. This paper will then examine men's social support systems, with a focus on men's groups. The role and purpose of these groups is discussed as an alternative form of social support for men. It is suggested that men's support groups may be understood as a relational community with a common group narrative. For example, a community narrative shapes the social identities of members, and the exchange of personal stories facilitates personal change. Hence, previous research on psychological sense of community (PSC) and narrative theory are reviewed to illustrate how individual identity is embedded in the community context, and is facilitated by community and personal narratives. The process of identity transformation is discussed as an outcome from involvement in men's groups. Finally, qualitative research is discussed and future directions in research are outlined.

Share

 
COinS