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Men's experiences of middle-age: an interpretative phenomenological analysis

Vas, S and Forshaw, M and Grogan, S (2016) Men's experiences of middle-age: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. NORMA: International Journal of Masculinity Studies. ISSN 1890-2138


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Middle-age is distinctive in both the quantity of stressors experienced and their nature, so is an important area of study. This study used semi-structured e-mail interviews to investigate how a group of nine Caucasian, middle-class, heterosexual men aged between 45 and 55 years made sense of ageing and middle-age. An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis approach was employed. Analysis of the accounts indicated four superordinate themes: (1) feelings of being trapped in between post-industrial and contemporaneous gender ideals, (2) mind over body, and the disregard of the metrosexual body ideology, (3) fatherhood, being busy, and lost opportunities, (4) holistic and inward self-awareness. Future studies are needed to enable an understanding of middle-aged men's experiences of distress associated with ageing, and to investigate whether this is associated with the progress of long-term physical and mental conditions at midlife.

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