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An exploration of the links between male identity and the development of the field of men’s community education in Ireland
Owens, Antonia
Social, economic, legislative and technological developments ongoing since the 1970s have culminated in profound change in the structure and form of work and of family life today. This changing socio-economic structure has implications for ways in which gender roles and relationships are understood and enacted; and this study is concerned with the impact of such change on men’s, particularly marginalised men’s, understandings of masculinity. While men’s studies as an academic discipline has been developing in the international arena since the 1970s, there is a dearth of scholarship in Ireland on the topic of masculinity; indeed it has only recently emerged as a topic in public discourse. The 1990s witnessed a new social phenomenon in Irish society - the emergence of men’s groups in local communities, some o f which receive funding within the community education sector. Across three research sites, two men’s groups and one practitioners’ network, this qualitative study explores emergent models of practice as well as understandings of masculinity and gender relations at play in these sites. This study is therefore located at the interface of two nascent fields of inquiry in Irish research; the question of male identity and the role of men’s groups in combating male isolation, social exclusion and educational disadvantage. The study opens with an overview of the historical development of men’s movements, men’s groups and masculinity politics in the international arena from the 1970s onward; and discusses the more recent emergence of men’s groups in Irish society. It draws on theoretical perspectives from the inter-disciplinary field of men’s studies in tracing the historical development of gender identity in Ireland, and in analysing dominant themes in contemporary public discourse on masculinity and gender relations. Findings from the men’s groups are presented in case study format wherein idiographic analyses and interpretations are placed in dialogue with theoretical perspectives drawn from relevant academic discourses. Based on its understanding of the study participants’ experiences and perspectives and the project’s overall observations, learnings and findings placed in dialogue with a critical analysis of the literature, this thesis proposes a conceptual framework to underpin the development of men’s community education through the medium of men’s groups in Ireland.
Keyword(s): Adult education; Education; Gender
Publication Date:
Type: Other
Peer-Reviewed: Unknown
Language(s): English
Contributor(s): Gilligan, Ann Louise
Institution: Dublin City University
Citation(s): Owens, Antonia (2004) An exploration of the links between male identity and the development of the field of men’s community education in Ireland. PhD thesis, Dublin City University.
Publisher(s): Dublin City University. Institute of Education
File Format(s): application/pdf
Related Link(s):
First Indexed: 2018-08-29 06:05:36 Last Updated: 2019-02-09 06:08:25