Thoughts and Experiences of First-year College Men Relating to Their Identities as Men
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For men in college, caring enough about their education may not be a viable option. The current research will look at the way in which male students view and experience masculinity during their first year of college. One goal of this project is to gain a better understanding of how male college students think about masculinity. Because men are attending and succeeding at college at lower rates than previous years, more knowledge and research about men's experiences is needed to understand this trend. If it is expected that men will ignore education as a way to reinforce their masculinity, then improving the achievement rates of men will have to start with a healthier depiction of "men" at an earlier age, such as the encouragement of academic success rather than disinterest.
This thesis draws from in-depth interviews to discuss masculinity as it relates to university students. The interviews for this project were semi-structured in form. I conducted fifteen in-depth interviews with randomly volunteered male students who were willing to share their personal narratives about their first year of college. This thesis discusses and explores the reflections of these men during their first year. Within these discussions, men identified two forms of masculinity and two different viewpoints through which they look at masculinity.