Mythopoetic Perspectives of Men's Healing Work: An Anthology for Therapists and Others

By Edward Read Barton | Go to book overview

support groups. First, because the individual interviews were conducted at one point in time, only retrospective but no prospective developmental trends could be described (or observed). To analyze such trends, life histories could be collected from new members as part of the process of joining a group.

A second way in which studies of identity construction in MPMS groups could be improved is to include the voices of men who participated in but subsequently chose to leave their group. The information these men could provide might be crucial for understanding how and why group narratives are established, preserved, and ritualized or institutionalized. One question to be asked from this standpoint is why men seek participation in a support group but elect not to join, or join but subsequently decide to leave groups, and what role the group narrative plays in these decisions. In other words, why is the narrative a useful resource to some men but not others, or at one point in their lives but not later?

Finally, it would be interesting to see whether the social and psychological processes observed in this group also characterize men's groups with different ideological and substantive views about men and masculinity (e.g., conservative men's groups such as Promise Keepers, socialist men's groups, gay men's groups, profeminist men's groups). Information from such comparative studies is necessary to determine the implications of this case study for men's wideranging efforts to challenge (or preserve) hegemonic forms of masculinity.


NOTES
1.
As with other scientific methods, the reliability of the data generated from these procedures is attributable to careful recording of observations repeated over time with the same instrument (in this case, an interview protocol and tape recorder). The validity or trustworthiness of the interviews and their analysis can be attributed to several aspects of the procedure used to generate them: extensive development and piloting of the protocol, checking with members about the accuracy of the resulting transcripts, my longterm and extensive participant observation of the group, and numerous consultations that I had throughout the data collection and analysis about the meaning of the interviews and my observations of the group with colleagues who were not members of the group ( Lincoln & Guba, 1985).
2.
All participants were assigned pseudonyms.

REFERENCES

Andronico M. P. (Ed.), ( 1996). Men in groups: Insights, interventions, and psycho- educational work.

Betcher R. W., & Pollack W. S. ( 1993). In a time of fallen heroes: The recreation of masculinity. New York: Guilford.

Brannon R. ( 1976). "The male sex role: Our culture's blueprint for manhood and what it's done for us lately". In D. David & R. Brannon (Eds.), The forty-nine percent majority: The male sex role (pp. 1-48). Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

-115-

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