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The Emotional Lives of Men: The Complexities of Expressing Emotions

This research responds to the widely held view expressed in academic and popular literature that men have difficulties expressing themselves emotionally. Both popular and academic literatures on men’s emotional lives often approach the topic as though men are in crisis, in need of change, and that they require instruction from professionals on how to express themselves. This thesis explores the complexities of how men express themselves emotionally. Six male participants took part in individual interviews about their emotional lives. Four of these participants also took part in a focus group discussion on the same topic. Findings challenge stereotypes of men as emotionally challenged. All participants were competent in expressing a range of emotions and did so verbally, through body language, in particular settings and using a range of material objects. These accounts provide insights into their emotional lives. The participants’ candour, when talking about their emotional lives, challenges common stereotypes of men’s reluctance to talk about their emotions. My analysis suggests that stereotypes of men’s inability to adequately express their emotions need to be qualified as they are not applicable to all men. This demonstrates the need for a broader range of research and literature which includes multiple groups of men and their views of their emotional lives.
Type of thesis
McKenzie-Norton, E. (2010). The Emotional Lives of Men: The Complexities of Expressing Emotions (Thesis, Master of Applied Psychology (MAppPsy)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/5756
University of Waikato
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