In the study of both economic and human development, the men of the global South [sic] are often considered to be responsible for the lack of progress and for the lack of human flourishing. An abundance of literature exists exploring how women and children make meaning in the global South with many clear indicators that the choices made by men in their lives have led to an overall sense of need and a lack of wellness. Attempting to better understand how men of different cultures make sense of their world and navigate their life experiences can only enhance strategies in the process of change.
In the proposed study, I will narrow the questions of masculinities to Uganda and, when appropriate, to East Africa. The Ugandan milieu is characterized by public health challenges, including but not limited to HIV, as well as poverty, strong cultural and family expectations, and a privileging of education. While the dominant Ugandan story from a Western lens is HIV, partially due to the enormity of research focused on the virus, the nuances of meaning-making are many and varied. HIV is just one piece of the lived experiences of men, women and children—and perhaps only one symptom of the larger ways of knowing—suggesting that research beyond the confines of the medical and public health implications of HIV/AIDS is in order. The purpose of this study is to investigate how masculinity is constructed for nine Ugandan male participants of three different generations through an exploration of their at-school lived experiences and of their sense of engagement with and responsibility to other generations.
I will employ a multi-phase design beginning with a text-message survey to a random sample of 600 cellphone subscribers. The survey answers will inform the selection of nine participants for the qualitative phase of the study which will be guided by a life history design, and focus groups for triangulation. Finally, narrative analysis will be used to report the findings.
New insights here could be used to create more informed pedagogy, public health strategies, and further research in the pursuit of change at scale.
** USD graduate students and faculty are welcome free of charge