First Advisor

Lauren Frank

Date of Publication

Spring 6-20-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Communication






Feminism, Men, Group identity



Physical Description

1 online resource (iii, 108 pages)


Current understandings of feminism do not seek to dissuade men from feminism as a movement; moreover, men's inclusion in the feminist movement is seen as paramount to achieving equality and dismantling all forms of hegemonic power. Past research has shown that identification with a social movement is a strong predictor for participation in social change, more so than belonging to a disadvantaged social category. Despite this, there is nascent literature on how men define, identify as, and practice feminism. This study draws from a thematic analysis of three focus groups of self-identified males to investigate their self-identification as feminist. Using social identity theory, the analysis reveals the varied and nuanced ways participants define and understand feminism. The analysis further reveals how men construct their role in feminism and feel they can participate in the feminist movement. Participants expressed feeling excluded from feminism, despite noting that current articulations of feminism aim to include men. Additionally, participants expressed they could enact a feminist practice without identifying as a feminist. Overall, these findings illuminate some of the ways men possibly identify with the feminist movement and negotiate identifying as a feminist. This study illustrates that men's relationship to feminism is influenced not only by their own identities, but also by the perception of others. This study also raises the question of how well social identity theory captures the effect of perceived acceptance by prototypical group members.


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