Thematic Analysis Of Masculinity And Relationships
BESC3061 Applied Social Research For Physical Activities and Engagements
BESC3061 Applied Social Research For Physical Activities and Engagements
It is now arguable among sociologist and anthropologists than ever the extent to which muscles have become a fundamental aspect of masculine in the Western culture. In an attempt to achieve this muscular physique, men are found to must have gone numerous and straining work that leaves their bodies subjected to physical activities and engagements (Shank, 2015). This makes leaves muscles to be linked to such activities as exercise and sports. Nevertheless, even with this in the minds of most of the men who may be interested in developing their muscularity, a significant number of men are found to abhor physical activity.
This can be attributed to a very bad experience they might have had during childhood, or even high levels of commitment among other men hence do not find enough time to engage themselves in physical activity (Saldana, 2009). Such men often get themselves at the centers of battles in which their conscience has to constantly struggle with itself in a bid to make a decision not to engage in exercise. This, unfortunately, is associated with criticisms and negative social regards which they have to bear their consequences. At early ages, boys are introduced to the benefits of muscularity and made to feel that they would suffer should they refuse to accept the responsibility to develop manly physique (Willig, 2013). Muscular boys normally receive a warm reception among their peers and are in most cases lauded by the Western culture making them develop a positive self-concept.
Australia has managed to maintain her reputation for aggressive masculinity despite having lost its outstanding image as a bushranger frontier as it evolved into a dominantly urban society. Since the birth of the country more than 200 years ago, it has rooted its ideology on sexism that is maintained to date (Boeije, 2009). This ideology led to the emergence of feminist crusades that came out strongly to fight and advocate for the rights and space of the women in the Australian society. It is during such crusades in the 1970s that Greer wrote about the liberation of women and calling on the woman to help in the rescue of men from what she termed the perversities of their own polarization.
Besides the perception that Australian men have for the women, they also have a different perception for their male counterparts (Popay, 2010). The Australian history of a lonely, womanless and in most cases the dangerous life of the bush forms the foundation upon which the tradition of mateship rests. It is believed that any pair of males who would live in the bush for a long time and to the tune of mutuality would end up to the point of homosexuality. This is as documented by Robert Hughes in one of his writings in which he states, “The feelings of reliance on one’s mate would lie forever at the heart of masculine behavior in Australia.” Wars in South Africa, Vietnam, and Korea, are among the other factors that are believed to have facilitated such a sense of masculinity and the mateship idea (Shank, 2015).
Thematic analysis as a technique used in qualitative data
The development of thematic analysis was necessitated by the challenge associated with the analysis of qualitative data derived from research. Through thematic analysis, data that is seemingly unrelated can be analyzed in such a way that provides a sequential gain of knowledge regarding a situation, person, group, interaction, a culture or even an organization. Whereas thematic analysis is that much of importance, not so much has been documented about it (Saldana, 2009).
It is used when there is need to frame a problem. It is useful in the narrowing down a broad to the point of discovery of the patterns and sequence followed by a specific research question. Through thematic analysis, an insight into and knowledge of the qualitative data gathered is gained. Through this method, qualitative researchers find it possible to establish an in-depth appreciation for the situation or group for which they are doing the research. Broad patterns can easily be determined and more extensive research and analysis conducted with the thematic analysis in the distillation of data (Harding, 2009).
Thematic analysis has been found to be very inductive in nature since it does not give room for the researchers to impose or insert their own predetermined themes but instead get such themes from the data being analyzed. From the established findings, the researchers are then able to validate the themes through statistical analysis. Thematic analysis may include part of positivism, phenomenology, grounded theory and interpretivism depending on the research context. The process of thematic analysis begins with data collection from the source, followed by coding, validation of the codes, and identification of the themes and then finally consolidation of information (Teddlie, 2009).
Jason is a 32-year old man born in Manchester and spent part of her childhood in South Africa. He lost his English-speaking accent while in South Africa and had challenges tracking in the back while he was back in the United Kingdom. He spent most of his time with the twin sister during his childhood. He was highly tempered and was easily pissed off hence maintained quietness most of the times while in school. He was once accused of being gay due to his mate with whom he was very close. He kept neither his sister nor his father of the frustrations and bullying that he went through in school under the precept his dad would not believe he was being honest.
Ash is a 37- year old man who grew up in Freemantle in a family of six and currently a father to a two-months-old daughter. The parents divorced when he was 19, and the dad left the mum struggling to bring up the four siblings (Gibson, 2009). He was good in both soccer and academics. He ran with the pack of boys who were bullying other less physical boys and in most cases found himself among the group that was challenging the authority of the teacher. He was able to manage to showcase his sterling academic performance despite running with the gang, something he did to escape being bullied.
Description of the interviewees
He never found it offending when called names due to his small size comparative to the playmates when he was in London. Among the themes shaping the lives and opinions of these two intervieews, include responsibility, morality, and relationships. Ash is of interest in this qualitative analysis following where he finds himself especially after the divorce of the parents. He feels something has completely changed since this occurred and has to struggle to cope up with the prevailing circumstances (Gavin, 2008).
Ash has every reason to believe that put of failure to take responsibility; the father opted to excuse himself out of the marriage between him and his mother. He laments over the treatment and the relationship that existed between him and his dad even before the divorce. From his responses in the interview, Ash believes the father was not responsible and barely cared about them- most probably because he spent a lot of time at work and had little time for them. From the coding in his responses to what the relationship between him and the dad was, Ash termed it a total abandonment (Boeije, 2009). This is an illustration of failing to care. The relationship was troubled, and he never spoke to his dad in most cases due to his authoritarian nature. After the divorce, his mother was left to struggle in bringing up the four siblings himself included. The burden of responsibility, therefore, was fully transferred to the mother.
Still, in interviewee Ash, a lot more is seen to engulf him as far as relating to his family is concerned. Using such selective codes as not emotionally close as he could refer to the dad, it is apparent that father-son relationship was on the very brink of collapse. However, this relationship seemed to have rejuvenated when his dad joins another family with another woman after retirement. Ash spent most of his time with teenage boys and in most cases kept a company of male friends (Gibson, 2009).
In his response to the 2nd to 9th questions of the interview, which was centered on the relationship, Ash feels there was emotional proximity between him and the other siblings and the mother as opposed to between the father and the other members of the family-not even before the divorce. Finding enough time for her daughter is part of what Ash aspires even as he brings up the minor. He thinks he should not do things the way his father did in which the males in a relationship took a greater share of the masculinity (Fouché, 2015). There is need to understand that either of the parents has equal opportunities in upbringing the children and this forms a major task for Ash.
Definition of the three themes
Jason finds it challenging to freely relate with his peers especially upon return from South Africa. His accent of English creates a wide berth between him and the kids who could form a greater composition of his playmates (Flick, 2013). Having a twin sister, the relationship is very close but being a girl and a boy, this is hardly expected, and most people find this relationship odd. He regrets that this comes about because many people are clueless on what it means to have a twin sister.
Other than his sister, all the other kids who played with him were boys illustrative of the societal perception of early childhood patterns of relationships-boys were to relate with fellow boys and so do the girls (Dempster, 2011). While Jason finds the life of upbringing a child a hard task to bear with, he shapes himself into the task hoping that one time his son will be his best friend. As a youth, he would spend most of his times with friends in the pub, watching soccer, taking coffee or any other forms of communal engagements. He has to learn to disconnect from all these and attend to his family especially his son in the absence of his wife. This sounds hectic at first until he decides he would consult friends from who he receives no news but an encouragement to embrace (Guest, 2011).
Despite being an excellent performer in both academics and sports in his school, Ash still finds himself an active member of the gang, a group of rogue boys who bully and harass the less physical boys (Caulfield, 2014). The gang would at times run in acts of violence. In most cases, he would be among those punished by the teacher for deliberately failing to abide by what the teacher asks them to do. These are illustrative of the weakened standards of morals in this setting, a situation that subjects the less physically able to unfair harassment and frustrations.
Jason, on the other hand, falls a victim of almost similar circumstances. He is bullied in school but decides to keep this to himself and informs neither the father nor the sister about it. He finds it embarrassing to share the treatments and the frustrations he gets from school under the precept he would not believe he is honest to that extent (Boeije, 2009).
The thematic analysis of the two situations at displayed by the different interviewees provides an insight into the various themes among them responsibility, morality, and relationship. The codes extracted from the responses given by both Jason and Ash gives an opportunity for qualitative analysis by distilling the data provided to the tune of the theme of interest for the research, which is masculinity. The situations the intervieews find themselves in have played a significant role in preparing them for the parenting roles in line with their ideologies on masculinity.
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