HiddenVoices of Black Men: TheMeaning, Structure, and Complexity of Manhood Andrea G. Hunter James Earl Davis
Learning Objectives Identify and recognize different perspectives on Manhood and Masculinity Analyze investigated data Evaluate conclusions
Male Roles Economic provider “struggles with manhood, whether a byproduct barriers, cultural pathology, or both, are implicated as a contributor to the rates of female-headed households, never-married childbearing, and divorce in Black communities” (145). Black vs. White privileges
Manhood and the Crisis of Back Men Stereotypes Unemployment School failure Violence and crime Poverty Racism Frazier’s seminal work, The Negro family in the United States (1939). The history of slavery, oppression, and disenfranchisement had birthed cultural pathos that displaced the patriarchal family system (146). *Fits prevailing racist imagery of Black men as eternal boys. Hypermasculinity as a dominant conception of manhood in poor-inner city communities.
Expectations Conform to dominant gender role expectations To be successful, competitive, aggressive Meeting cultural specific requirements Cooperation, promotion of group, survival of group Cazenave’s (1979) study Provider Husband Father Worker Cazenave (1984) 2/3 of white men endorsed traits of competitiveness, aggressiveness, and being successful at work.
What do youthinkitmeanstobe a man? Most rated Men’s attributes -(Hunter and Davis (1992) Sense of self (independence, self-esteem) Resourcefulness (making the best of things) and sense of responsibility Parental involvement and sense of family (child oriented, protecting family) Being goal oriented (having goals and direction, ambitious) Being a provider (providing income for family, having a good job) Humanism (being kind and caring, forgiving others)
Experiment 32 Black men from Central NY – face to face interview Generation of ideas What do you think it means to be a man? 250 ideas – 108 unique ideas Sorting of ideas Categorize the unique items into groups that made sense to them. 108 x 108 binary symmetric matrix Construction of concept map is a 2 × 2 binary matrix.
Findings Central challenge of manhood was defined in terms of what they expected of themselves. This was framed by family role expectations and their perspective on identity and the development of the self, connections to family and community, and spiritual and worldview.
Findings Identity and the Development of Self A sense of self-direction – to have one’s own mind and the free will to pursue the path chosen. Independence and importance of perseverance. Connections to family Family was perceived to give a man’s life meaning (Family as an extension of the male ego). Components Family connections and responsibilities Relationship to women Family role expectations Family organization vs. family function
Conclusions What men thought about manhood Older man were more comfortable talking about manhood and their views were more expansive. “When you’re young, you think everything is black and white, when you’re older you know better” (154). The notion that viable and adaptive constructs of manhood have failed to develop in black communities. Multidimensional vs. unidimensional concepts of manhood
Useful links The Entman-Rojecki Index of Race and the Media - http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/210758.html Brooklyn Gentrification - http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8680572657077151930&ei=bv3dSvPsOJverQKuk8GnDg&q=brooklyn+gentrification&hl=en# The View Heated Debate Over the N-Word - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a507xSadnrY