“It’s a masculinity sort of thing”: Young men talk about the rules of (hetero)romantic relationships

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dc.contributor.advisor Allen, L en
dc.contributor.advisor Elizabeth, V en
dc.contributor.author Vogels, Christina en
dc.date.accessioned 2017-06-06T21:37:35Z en
dc.date.issued 2016 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/33299 en
dc.description.abstract This thesis argues that a hegemonic ordering of gendered identities at work within young men’s lives enables them to talk about being boyfriends in ways that oppress young women. In analysing young men’s talk about being boyfriends, the thesis endeavours to unlock further knowledge of how (hetero)romantic relationships become such prevalent sites of male oppression. This analysis also reveals precarious moments in how young men make sense of these oppressions. Examining these moments within young men’s talk could contribute insights about how to prevent women being subordinated within these relationships. To undertake this investigation, I conducted individual interviews and focus groups with 22 young men from a rural high school in Aotearoa/New Zealand. I used the popular teen-hit film Twilight – which depicts a boyfriend of high school age who oppresses his girlfriend in a number of overt and subtle ways – as a springboard for young men to discuss what they think boyfriends are entitled to do within relationships with young women. When analysing their talk, I combined a structural understanding of “gender hegemony” (Schippers, 2007, p. 86) – a gender order that privileges hegemonic masculinity over a range of femininities (Schippers, 2007) – with a feminist Bourdieusian (Adkins, 2004) consideration of ‘field’ and ‘habitus’. I used this framework to understand (hetero)romantic relationships as a field, with structural (hegemonic) conditions that young men internalise through developing habitus. Young men’s talk about (hetero)romance aligns with versions of hegemonic masculinity (Schippers, 2007) that expel ‘contaminating’ performances of femininities. As a result, young men talk derisively about boyfriends and girlfriends who they think break these rules. However, these derisive understandings of (hetero)romance are not entirely coherent, indicating that in young men’s talk, femininities are not inevitably contaminating. Young men’s talk is also not necessarily grounded in their lived experiences of (hetero)romance. Instead, they rely on guesswork in ways that signal their oppressive dispositions towards being boyfriends may be unstable. I argue that these moments of instability could be junctures where young men adopt more “ethical” (see Carmody, 2009, p. 51; Carmody & Ovenden, 2013, p. 795; Towns & Scott, 2008, p. 122) attitudes towards being boyfriends. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99264913114102091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.title “It’s a masculinity sort of thing”: Young men talk about the rules of (hetero)romantic relationships en
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.discipline Critical Studies in Education en
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Auckland en
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en
thesis.degree.name PhD en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
dc.rights.accessrights http://purl.org/eprint/accessRights/OpenAccess en
pubs.elements-id 628628 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2017-06-07 en

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