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Positive Masculinity in a German Mythopoetic Men´s Group: A Reflexive Thematic Analysis

Hatger, Nils (2021) Positive Masculinity in a German Mythopoetic Men´s Group: A Reflexive Thematic Analysis.

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Abstract:The public and academic discourses about masculinity are dominated by narratives like “toxic masculinity”, which are stigmatizing. In recent years a “positive masculinity” approach has been introduced that focuses on the healthy aspects of masculinity. The aim of the present study was to investigate the experiences of positive masculinity in actual practice and show the relationship between these experiences and the improvements in the participants’ well-being. This was achieved by conducting semi-structured interviews with eight members of a German men´s group called Eisenhans. The Eisenhans men´s group includes an annual gathering of 40 men, aimed at personality development. Reflexive thematic analysis was used to analyze the data, showing that the Eisenhans members constructed their masculinity by integrating positive variations of traditional masculinity like positive aggression, positive competition and positive dominance with traits that are considered feminine like vulnerability, self-compassion, tenderness and affection. The Acceptance of the group and the authentic expression of masculinity was associated with the well-being outcomes of self-understanding, self-esteem, compassion for others, self-compassion, a positive body-image, and a stronger feeling of masculinity. The present study indicates that mythopoetic men´s groups like the Eisenhans support the development of positive masculinity and have a positive influence on men´s well-being. [For correspondence:]
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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