Dissertation Abstracts

Men Who Care: How Organizations and Individuals Negotiate Masculinity, Emotional Capital, and Emotion Practice in Nursing

Author: Cottingham, Marci D, cottingham@uva.nl
Department: Sociology
University: University of Akron, USA
Supervisor: Rebecca J. Erickson
Year of completion: 2013
Language of dissertation: English

Keywords: Emotion , Masculinity , Healthcare , Carework
Areas of Research: Social Psychology , Health , Organization


This dissertation addresses issues of masculinity and emotion among men in
nursing in the U.S. Integrating gender theory on men and masculinities and the sociology of emotion, the results advance understanding of the distinct ways that health care organizations and individuals operate within the current gender system. Both organizations and individuals “mobilize” available resources, synthesizing dynamic and embodied masculinities through their everyday conscious/nonconscious social practice. Health care organizations mobilize hegemonic and alternative masculinities through ideological gendering practices in order to dispel stereotypes and recruit boys and young men to the the nursing profession. Counter to prior theory and cultural beliefs concerning men and emotion, individual-level findings suggest that men possess and cultivate emotional capital, emphasizing their capacity for compassion, empathy, and their ability to provide care to others. As one facet of their emotion practice, male nurses activate/embody their emotional capital through emotion management strategies in order to provide high quality nursing care to their patients. Integrating masculinity and emotion management theories, this dissertation shows how gender discourse shapes organizational and emotion practice in distinct ways for men in nursing who care for a living.