"Male gender role strain" : a pastoral assessment

Jun, Dong Chang (2009-12)

Thesis (DTh (Practical Theology and Missiology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was firstly to investigate Korean males’ gender role strain, its impact on their spirituality and identity, and the relationship between male gender role strain and the issue of power within the Korean context, based on Pleck’s male gender role strain paradigm. Firstly, the empirical study (in-depth interview with the fifteen Korean males within the Cape Town region) found that the majority of males (12 out of 15) experienced anger, shame, anxiety, helplessness, guilt and health problems as related to male gender role strains. Secondly, the research also indicated that their dysfunctional strain seemed to lead them to seek a God who guarantees material well-being, prosperity, and success, while their discrepancy strain seemed to generate an intense low self-esteem that is associated with a distant, callous and unfair God. Thirdly, this study indicated that the strains in their roles were closely related to the issue of power (12 out of 15). They identified the source of their strain as getting ahead, competition, winning, anxiety about performance, longing for a sense of superiority, a sense of comparison, and their wish to boast about their competency. The second purpose of this study was to examine whether a theological understanding of God’s vulnerability help pastoral care to address the problem of men’s power and psychological struggles (male gender role strain) - possibly to reframe the notion of power in order to foster spiritual maturity in males. In order to reframe the concept of power from a theological perspective (through reinterpretation of the notion of God’s power), the researcher has selected three interpretations of a theology of the cross and resurrection (Luther, Moltmann and Louw). Three interpretations of a theology of the cross and resurrection can contribute towards this paradigm shift. The first concerns our human existential predicament of helplessness, while the second is about the theological problem of God’s identity: God’s relationship to the notion of suffering. The third has an implication for pastoral therapy and identity formation. The research finding is that, if the concept of the pantokrator can be reframed by a pathetic interpretation of the cross, this theological reframing has consequences for the human understanding of power. A reinterpretation of God’s power could bring about a paradigm shift from the notion of power as strength, control, domination and success, to that of power as vulnerability, service and pathos of other-empowerment. Such a hermeneutics of power can foster spiritual growth and healing in males by helping them to shift their concerns to serving others, and empowering fellow human beings from pursuing strength and control.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van hierdie studie was eerstens om die Koreaanse manlike geslag se spanning te ondersoek, en die impak daarvan op hul spiritualiteit en identiteit, asook die verhouding tussen die rol van die manlike geslag se spanning en die idee van mag binne die Koreaanse konteks, gebaseer op Pleck se rol van die manlike geslag se spanningsparadigma. Eerstens, die empiriese studie (in-diepte onderhoude met 15 Koreaanse mans in Kaapstad se omgewing) vind dat die meerderheid mans (12 uit elke 15) ervaar woede, skaamte, angs, hulpeloosheid, skuld en gesondheidsprobleme wat verband hou met spanning in hul manlike geslagsrol. Tweedens, die navorsing het ook aangedui dat hul disfunksionele spanning skynbaar daartoe gelei het om hulle ‘n God te laat soek wat materiële welsyn, welvaart en sukses waarborg, terwyl hul teenstrydige spanning skynbaar ‘n intense lae selfbeeld genereer wat verband hou met ‘n veraf, gevoellose en onregverdige God. Derdens, hierdie studie het getoon dat die spanninge in hulle rolle ten nouste saamhang met die aspek van mag (12 uit elke 15). Hulle identifiseer die bron van hulle spanning as vooruitgang, kompetisie, oorwinning, angs oor prestasie, die sug na ’n superieure posisie, die obsessie om altyd te vergelyk en die hubris oor eie vaardighede. Die tweede doel van hierdie studie was om na te vors of ‘n teologiese verstaan van God se weerloosheid vir pastorale versorging sal help om die problem van die manlike magsbeheptheid en sielkundige stress (spanning van die manlike geslagsrol) aan te spreek – moontlik om die begrip van mag te herdefinieer teneinde spirituele volwassenheid in mans te vestig. Om die konsep van mag vanuit ‘n teologiese perspektief te herdefinieer (deur die herinterpretasie van die begrip van God se mag), het die navorser drie interpretasies van ‘n teologie van die kruis en die opstanding (Luther, Moltmann en Louw) gekies. Hierdie drie interpretasies kan bydra tot hierdie paradigmaskuif. Die eerste gaan oor ons menslike eksistensiële toestand van hulpeloosheid, terwyl die tweede oor die teologiese problem van God se identiteit gaan: God se verhouding tot die begrip van lyding. Die derde het implikasies vir pastorale terapie en identiteitsontwikkeling. Die bevinding van die navorsing is dat, indien die konsep van die pantokrator herdefinieer kan word deur ‘n patetiese interpretasie van die kruis, dan het teologiese herdefiniëring gevolge vir die menslike verstaan van mag. ‘n Herinterpretasie van God se mag sou ‘n paradigmaskuif kon teweegbring vanuit die begrip van mag as krag, beheer, dominansie en sukses, na ‘n begrip van mag as kwetsbaarheid, diens en die patos van bemagtiging van andere. So ‘n hermeneutiek van mag kan spirituele groei bevorder en heling vir mans teweegbring deur hulle te help om hul kommer te verplaas na diens aan andere, en om hul medemense te bemagtig in plaas daarvan om krag en beheer na te jaag.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/1074
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