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I was so done in that I just recognized it very plainly, “You need to do something”’: men’s narratives of struggle, distress and turning to meditation

Lomas, Timothy and Cartwright, Tina and Edginton, Trudi L. and Ridge, Damien T. (2013) I was so done in that I just recognized it very plainly, “You need to do something”’: men’s narratives of struggle, distress and turning to meditation. Health, 17 (2). pp. 191-208. ISSN 1363-4593

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1363459312451178

Abstract

Traditional masculinities can mean men are unable or unwilling to deal constructively with distress. However, researchers increasingly acknowledge that men and masculinities (including hegemonic styles) are diverse. Moreover, men can positively manage their well-being, although little research explores how they do so. Uniquely, our study sought to find men who report finding ways to care for themselves to examine narratives about how such self-care originated. We aimed to do this by exploring issues underpinning men’s journeys towards meditation, focusing on implications for well-being. In-depth interviews were conducted in 2009 with 30 meditators, selected using principles of maximum variation sampling, and analysed with a modified ‘constant comparison’ approach. Men’s journeys towards meditation were fraught with difficulties. Men described crossing a threshold from boyhood into ‘manhood’ where they encountered traditional forms of masculinity (e.g. stoicism), and most described subsequent strategies to disconnect from emotions. While men eventually found ways to engage more constructively with their emotions and well-being, this article explores the struggle and distress of their journeys.

Item Type:Article
Research Community:University of Westminster > Social Sciences, Humanities and Languages, School of
University of Westminster > Life Sciences, School of
ID Code:10939
Deposited On:26 Jul 2012 14:24
Last Modified:11 Jun 2013 12:22

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