A Phenomenological Study of Arranged Friendships between Young Boys and Men

Man Interest and Masculine Embodiment

in Boyhood Studies
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  • 1 Associate Professor, Aalborg University, Denmark
  • | 2 PhD, Aalborg University, Denmark
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We explore the experience and meaning of being in an arranged male adult friendship for 7–10-year-old boys from single-mother families; we look at this from the perspective of the boys, their mothers, and their adult friends. In analyzing empirical material from a two-year fieldwork study, we draw on methodology and concepts from phenomenology. We propose that boy–adult friendships provide boys with a realization of masculine embodiment and reflect hierarchical masculinity, but that the presence of the male body is essential. We discuss how the analysis contributes to the literature on adult–child friendships, particularly between boys and male nonrelative adults, and to that on masculinity and boyhood studies, exploring boys’ embodiment from a phenomenological perspective.

Boyhood Studies

An Interdisciplinary Journal

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