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How men experience, understand, and describe masculinity: A phenomenological psychological analysis and photovoice exploration.Earnshaw, Deborah; University of Derby (University of Derby, 2018-04-17)This thesis is an examination of how men describe and experience masculinity. Psychological and sociological research has suggested that masculinity is malleable (Smiler, 2006), there are different versions or pluralities of masculinity (Connell 1995) and can be context-dependent (Gilbert & Gilbert, 2017). Often however hegemonic masculinity is considered the only type of masculinity, and is not flexible, especially when discussed on a social level (Cuthbert, 2015). Based on the researcher’s cultural, social and historical knowledge and understanding, masculinity is very different for people and so is understood, demonstrated and experienced in various ways. This research employed an unstructured interview design, incorporating photovoice, with five participants overall where each participant, except one, was interviewed twice. The first interview was researcher-led, with images provided by the researcher to be the focus for the participant. The second interview was participant-led, with the images provided by the participant to represent what they considered to be masculine or represented masculinity in their everyday life. The data collected was analysed using a combination of phenomenological methods; Descriptive Phenomenological Psychology (Giorgi, 2009) and Hermeneutic Phenomenology (van Manen, 2016). The thesis is presented in two halves. The first is researcher-led and draws on hermeneutic psychology and presents three themes were found from the first interviews: Hegemonic Masculinity with Traditional Masculinity, Characteristics and Non-Conformity; Societal Influence with Culture, Image and Media; and Feminism and Women. The second part of the thesis is participant-led, and draws out the descriptive phenomenological aspects by presenting each individual’s interaction with their chosen images and their ensuing descriptions of masculinity illustrated by them. Themes in this context are individually related rather than demonstrated through a cross-case analysis. Findings demonstrated masculinity as an individual identity, with a social expectation of how men should behave and portray themselves. The way it is perceived, understood, experienced and described is different for each person, as was demonstrated here with the participants’ second interviews. Future research should consider expanding research to include more on everyday factors, such as the use and influence of social media, the projection of masculinity throughout a man’s life, and how men and women both aid in the creation and maintenance of masculinity.