College men, Community Engagement, and Masculinity: Ten Narrative of Men Making a Difference

2020-04-17T01:45:29Z (GMT) by Michael P Loeffelman

The purpose of this study was to investigate the participation of cisgender collegiate men in community engagement activities. As a group, collegiate men disproportionately engage in unhealthy behaviors compared to their female counterparts. Additionally, they are less likely to participate in community engagement activities. Community engagement activities have a multitude of benefits for both male and female college students, yet national data shows that college men are more likely to play video games or sports when given the choice. This qualitative study used a narrative inquiry method and ten participants were interviewed using a semi-structured process. Several themes from the participants’ narratives emerged including 1) having an insular group that is representative of individual values; 2) commitment to service is deeply entrenched into career or life goals; 3) complex relationship between service and fraternity; and 4) importance of childhood and boyhood as it relates to identity; matriculated masculinity. The study encouraged reconsidering the definition of service and the power of student voice. This study contributes to several interwoven threads of scholarship focusing on the experiences of collegiate males, community engagement, and masculinity. Results suggest implications for higher education practitioners to more effectively support the needs of college men as well as considering new ways to engage more college men in community engagement activities.