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“You were being a man about it, but you weren’t being a man about it”: An exploratory qualitative study of middle aged men reflecting on their boarding school experience

Kiln, Chloe (2016) “You were being a man about it, but you weren’t being a man about it”: An exploratory qualitative study of middle aged men reflecting on their boarding school experience. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

"Boarding school is an extremely under researched topic (Schaverien, 2015). With little previous research, an exploratory qualitative study was used in order to find out what boarding school life was like, as it provides the freedom to discover new truths. In order to gain this insight, six male former boarding school students were interviewed over the telephone, using a semi- structured design. The interviews were then analysed using thematic analysis. The analysis discovered the themes of: homesickness, bullying and what I have called “the ideal boarding school self” and “the protected self”. The ideal boarding school self is the conceptualisation of the ideal boarding school student; this is someone who: is strong, in control of their emotions, abides and is good at sports. The study concluded that students use what I call “the protected self”, which is the way the self is protected through certain behaviours and strategies. These strategies are: hiding and not discussing your emotions, playing sports, bullying and rebelling."

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