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Authentic Masculinities: A Dialogical Narrative Study of College Men Exploring Gendered and Spiritual Identities

Wilcox Elliott, Christopher L
Format
Thesis/Dissertation; Online
Author
Wilcox Elliott, Christopher L
Advisor
Spreen, Carol
Covert, Robert
Trent, Stanley
Wathington, Heather
Abstract
This study investigated gendered (masculine) and spiritual identity intersections among an interfaith group of college men. Utilizing a unique dialogical narrative research methodology, the following primary research questions guided this study: (a) How do college men understand their gendered (masculine) and spiritual identities? (b) How are college men's commitments to spirituality and/or religious faith associated with centricity, citizenship, and an ethic of care or service? The emerging theory was grounded in participant surveys, interviews, dialogue sessions, and narrative analysis of seven traditionallyaged college men all identifying with different religio-spiritual faith traditions. Themes of meaning-making, self-authorship, connectedness, care, centricity, and gender role conflict generated both tensions and congruencies for participants, all from a selective four-year institution in the Mid-Atlantic region. The resulting Transcendence Model of Identity Construction offers a conceptual framework for understanding participants' social construction of multiple intersecting identities. The model includes dimensions for the inner self, one's relationships, communities, and enduring transcendent commitments and beliefs. Participants described how they mediate across dimensions, often with the help of trusted others, and make meaning of these experiences and relationships in order to transcend meeting their own immediate needs. Identity archetypes were found to orient participants toward roles, traits, behaviors, or Ultimate beliefs ascribed as such by the participants themselves or the communities with which they associate. This Transcendence Model of Identity Construction offers a snapshot of college men exploring gendered and spiritual identities, with implications for student affairs practice, religious and spiritual organizations on campus, and academic service learning. Note: Abstract extracted from PDF text
Language
English
Published
University of Virginia, Curry School of Education, PHD (Doctor of Philosophy), 2011
Published Date
2011-05-01
Degree
PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Collection
Libra ETD Repository
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