The transition of masculinity in post – recession Irish society

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Browne, Sarah
Issue Date
BA (Hons) in Social Science
Dublin Business School
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The aim of this research project was to investigate and identify how men have been emasculated in contemporary Ireland. The redefinition of females has progressed hugely over the years, for males it is only beginning. There are now 3 types of men known in society, the research carried out aimed to seek information on the 3 types of masculinity in relation to prominent themes that occur in society such as; general society, the workplace and family life. A qualitative approach was used along with a criterion sampling method to collect the data. Thematic analysis was used to highlight the similarities and differences among the participants also allowing for unanticipated insights. The participants that took part in the research were all born and living in Ireland, their ages ranged from 22 – 48. The results identified 4 themes; social embeddeness and transition, gender and inequalities, men as “egotistic” individuals and power. The 4 themes found the surge of women now entering the workplace has also changed the meaning of masculinity, in turn emasculating men as the provider, which is embedded in traditional masculinity. The themes that have emerged from the data suggest that traditional male norms and values exist in Irish society even though social change is visible. This indicates that society is in transition producing many new equalities and new gender roles that were not present pre-recession. In future research, this topic should include women for contrast and a possible suggestion would be including the theme of the media, as it was brought up during the interviews with participants elaborating on the topic. Author keywords: Gender masculinities