Relationships between Culture and Masculine Identity Development in South Asian Canadian Immigrants
Boparai, Parmvir Singh
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This thesis used the combined analysis of traditional theory, empirical data, and lived experience to analyze the relationship between culture and masculine identity development in South Asian, Canadian first and second generation immigrants. Levinson's "Seasons of a Man's Life", Gender Schema theory, the Gender Role Strain Paradigm, and the theory of Hegemonic Masculinity were studied and cross-examined to assess how they addressed four masculinity dimensions: aggression and violence, body image, help-seeking stigma, and emotional restrictiveness. Findings for empirical data that showed the prevalence of masculinity studies in the past decade and research on immigration stressors in a Western context is presented. Amalgamations of lived experiences of South Asian male immigrants are then included. Analysis and synthesis of the literature was conducted by means of a data analysis spiral approach. The results showed a coherence in theories adopting a social constructionist framework and incorporation of the four masculinity dimensions in all four theories. Furthermore, themes of clash between cultures when negotiating a masculine identity was found to be prevalent in the lived experience data. Violation of cultural norms were found to lead to negative psycho-social outcomes as consistent with theory, lived experience, and empirical data. The desire for sense of belonging and acceptance is suggested as a potential cause of conforming and nonconforming to gender-based stereotypes by South Asian first and second generation immigrants. The development of a modified theory that accounts for different cultures, subcultures, and demographics is recommended for future directions for further research.