Men, masculinity and violence

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Luna Sofie Stagsted Nielsen
This thesis will discuss to which degree masculinity plays a role I men’s violent behavior and violent crimes. The thesis statement sounds as follows:
‘What significance does masculinity have when men commit violent crimes?’
The thesis includes an additional research question, to further clarify the focal point of the research:
‘Can masculinity be regarded as a driving force for committing violent acts, in order to reach a mascu-line ideal, that is subject for recognition by others?’.

West and Zimmermann’s theories about doing gender, Connell and Butlerss writings about hegemonic masculinity and Honneth’s theories about the importance of recognition, will be used to further reach an understanding of this thesis’ focus. The method for obtaining information about men and their dis-play of masculinity in certain situations (mainly violent), is chosen with the mentioned theories in mind. It is thought that, if you want to reach information about how men’s behavior is determent by their masculine ideals, then you will have to observe it in real time. Therefore, the methods used in this thesis, is observation and informal interviews, so that it is possible to mark down patterns associated with masculine tendencies. With this method in use, you are allowed to analyze men’s behavior and from this, determine if their behavior is influenced by them trying to reach an ideal form of masculini-ty. The field work takes place in the Danish night life on Jomfru Ane street in Aalborg. The field work takes place in the span of XX days, where men’s behavior is observed. Informal conversations with the men about their experiences with violence are also held to gain further information in addition to the observation. The matter of ethics in connection with this way of gaining information, will be thor-oughly discussed, in order to ensure and validate the findings as described in this thesis.
The major findings from the fieldwork, observations and conversations with the men, indicates that masculinity serves as a significant factor in choosing to act violent. Violent acts are associated with masculinity and is used as a tool to appear more masculine by their surroundings. This is only possi-ble because the surrounding people recognize the behavior as masculine, and therefore legitimizes it. Without the legitimization of the violence, a person’s masculinity will not be recognized through the violent acts and behavior.
I order to minimize the number of men committing violent acts, we must, among other things, stop glorifying violence and seeing it as a part of being masculine.
Publication date7 May 2022
Number of pages42
ID: 472281583