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Men getting real? A study of relationship change in two men's groups
journal contributionposted on 2003-06-01, 00:00 authored by Andrew SingletonAndrew Singleton
Questions about men's capacity to change the ways they relate to one another have informed recent scholarly and popular discussions about men's relationships. One social context which consistently produces anecdotal claims about changes in men's relationships is dedicated men's groups. This article presents the findings from a qualitative study conducted with participants in two relationally centred men's groups. It discusses the type and quality of relationship change experienced by the participants in both groups and identifies the socio-cultural factors which appear to have facilitated this change. According to the informants, group involvement enabled them to transcend traditional masculine modes of relating and form intimate and trusting relationships with other participants. The interviews indicate that this change is attributable to various immediate contextual factors related to the group itself, rather than to a strident commitment to challenging traditional masculine codes of behaviour.