|dc.description.abstract||The purpose of this grounded theory study was to explore the factors influencing college men’s positive masculinity development. This study conducted from a constructionist epistemological paradigm, through a queer theoretical lens, and using grounded theory methodology, resulted in the co-construction of a model of men’s positive masculinity development. Two semi-structured interviews conducted with eight undergraduate men provided an opportunity for participants to discuss their lives as men, their understanding of masculinity, the intersections of other aspects of their identity and their masculinity, and the role of peers, friends, family, and role models had on their development.
The theory that emerged from this study is grounded in the participants’ experiences and depicts how sense of self, people, and life events influence positive masculinity development. Positive masculinity was influenced by a number of factors, but always through a lens of traditionally masculine norms. These norms were described as societal expectations traditionally ascribed to men. Lived experiences and interactions with family, role models, and friends who are women contributed to participant’s positive masculine ideals. Additionally, developing a strong sense of self and recognizing negative traits of their male peers also played a role in positive masculinity development.
Positive masculinity was constructed not in opposition to hegemonic masculinity, but outside of traditional, binary constructions of masculinity. Furthermore, positive masculine conceptualizations influenced how the men considered their identity and their relationships with family, male peers, and women. This theory of factors of college men’s positive masculinity development has implications relevant for future theory development, understanding of gender construction, and student affairs practice.||