‘From a guy’s perspective’? Male students, masculinity and autobiographical loneliness narratives

Richard Vytniorgu, Fred Cooper, Manuela Barreto

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Abstract

While student loneliness is increasingly visible on the research agenda, the relationship between gender and loneliness among students remains unclear. This article employs a feminist perspective on loneliness to interrogate the role of masculinity in shaping male students’ experiences of loneliness at a UK Russell Group university. We argue that a feminist approach to male students’ loneliness decentres masculinity as an explanatory and potentially pathologizing discourse for understanding their experiences of loneliness. Our analysis of male students’ autobiographical loneliness narratives at university highlights a range of other factors shaping their experiences of isolation at university, such as transitioning to the university environment and navigating a range of ways to be social.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-519
Number of pages15
JournalGender and Education
Volume35
Issue number5
Early online date22 May 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2023

Keywords

  • autobiographical narratives
  • Loneliness
  • male students
  • masculinity

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