More than Words: An Examination of Intimate Expression in Men’s Homosocial Friendships
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Despite a history of high quality research in the area, division exists within literature examining gender and communication regarding the degree to which men experience platonic intimacy in their homosocial friendships. Dominant theoretical approaches range from those suggesting that communication behaviours typical of men’s friendships are unemotive and, therefore, lacking in intimacy (e.g., Gupta et al., 2013; Levy, 2005; Reisman, 1990); to those suggesting that men’s friendships feature overt emotional intimacy, such as vulnerable disclosure (e.g., Batalha, Reynolds, & Newbigin, 2011; Hyde, 2005; Walker, 1994). The present research aimed to examine the various modes of expressing intimacy men employed within a friendship context (Study 1), the degree to which this expression met men’s needs for intimacy (Studies 1 and 3), and the impact of contextual factors and individual subscription to masculine role norms on men’s use of various modes of expression (Study 2). A mixed methods design was employed to assess intimacy in accordance with men’s subjective definitions. Importantly, studies were designed with the limiting implicit assumptions of some previous research in mind (such as the assumption that covert expression is inherently less intimate than vulnerable expression; and that masculinity is inherently incongruent with vulnerable expression). In doing this, the present research attempted to gain new perspective on hitherto unresolved issues in this area of research.
Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology (PhD ClinPsych)
School of Applied Psychology
Item Access Status
Homosexual platonic friendships