Exploring the constructions of a masculine identity amongst adolescent boys in the Western Cape

Jephtha, Angelo Charl
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Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Violence in South Africa is a serious problem and young men have been and still are the driving force behind the high levels of violence in South Africa. Although young men commit the most violence researchers have largely neglected the critical examination of young men and their association with violence. This study set out to examine this phenomenon by conducting focus group and group interviews with 23 adolescent boys between the ages of 14-16. The boys were selected from two schools in the Cape region. Two focus groups and one group interview was conducted in order to gain insight from the participants on what they thought were the motivations for young mens‟ tendencies to enact violence. As a result, various themes emerged from the participants responses. The participants provided rich descriptions about what they thought motivated men to enact violence. Overwhelmingly all the themes highlighted that men and boys who endorse traditional dominant ideals of masculinity that encourage toughness, dominance and willingness to resort to violence were more likely to enact violence. However, what was apparent was that for most boys violence played an integral part in the construction of their masculinity. It was defining characteristic of what it meant to be a man.
AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Geweld in Suid-Afrika is 'n ernstige probleem en jong mans was en is nog steeds die dryfkrag agter die hoë vlakke van geweld in Suid-Afrika. Ten spyte van jong mans se beeld as oortreders van geweld is jong mans se geweld deur navorsers geïgnoreer. Hierdie studie het 'n ondersoek gedoen om uit te vind wat die motivering is wat sommige jong mans na geweld toe dryf. As gevolg, het hierdie studie 23 adolessente jong mans tussen die ouderdom van 14 tot 16 'n onderhoud met hulle waargeneem. Die seuns is gekies uit twee skole in die Kaapse streek. Twee fokusgroepe en een groep onderhoud is uitgevoer met die adolessente seuns om 'n begrip te kry van hierdie fenoneem. Verskeie temas is uit die deelnemers antwoorde geneem. In al die temas kon ek aflei dat mans en seuns wat die tradisionele dominerende ideale van manlikheid omhels is meer geneig om geweld uitgevoer. Wat egter duidelik is vir die meeste seuns is dat geweld 'n integrale deel is in die konstruksie van hul manlikheid. Dit is 'n kenmerk van wat dit beteken om 'n man te wees.
Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.
Men -- Identity, Teenage boys -- South Africa -- Western Cape, Identity (Philosophical concept), Teenage boys -- Psychological aspects, Dissertations -- Psychology, Theses -- Psychology, UCTD