Derailed self-constructions: marginalization and self-construction in young boys’ accounts of well-being

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The chapter focuses on the construction of self amongst a group of young boys in Denmark who have had experience with eating disorders, self- harm, loneli-ness and other manifestations of a lack of well- being. At first glance, these manifestations of a lack of well- being seem rather distinct and incomparable, but they have in common the fact that the young boys who have had these experiences say that they are due to personal faults and imperfections. In other words, they are related to problematizing thematizations of the self. In the chapter, we investigate these problematizing thematizations and explore the ways that young boys understand and experience the self, and how they link this self to their lack of well-being. As will become apparent, fear of marginalization seems to be an important part of this connection: The young boys are struggling to live up to expectations in an increasingly individualized and competitive society, and their fear of being lost and excluded seems to have a destabilizing effect on their well-being. The young boys in this chapter are not socially excluded in terms of being outside ‘mainstream society’, rather their marginalization is that of insiders, who feel that their insider position is fragile and on the verge of collapsing, which is why they are struggling all they can to avoid being excluded and marginalized. The chapter presents a post-structuralism-inspired perspective of young boys’ construction of self, lack of well- being and how experiences of marginalization are related to that. On the one hand, this perspective implies that self-construction is seen as something that is embedded in and conditional on social and cultural notions and norms of gender, class, age, etc. On the other hand, it implies that the young boys are attributed the capacity to work on and change these notions and norms through citing practices, which must, however, be culturally identifiable and acceptable, if the young boys are to achieve social inclusion.
TitelMarginalized masculinities : contexts, continuities and change
RedaktørerChris Haywood, Thomas Johansson
Antal sider24
ISBN (trykt)978-0415347570
ISBN (Elektronisk)9781315229300
StatusUdgivet - 2017
SerietitelRoutledge research in gender and society


  • Unge mænds mistrivsel, Maskulinitet, Trivsel og mistrivsel, Afsporede selv-konstruktioner, Narrativer, Trivsel, Marginalisering

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