“It’s Cultivated, Grown, Packaged and Sold with a Price Tag”: Young Black Men’s Consumption of Media Images of Love, Happiness and Constructions of Masculinity

MANDISA MALINGA, KOPANO RATELE

Abstract


Young Black men consume media images of love and happiness on a terrain in which
models of loving and happy Black masculinities are scarce and usually Black men are
stereotypically rendered as violent. A qualitative study was conducted exploring
ways in which the media shape young men’s understanding of love and happiness
as well as how these are in turn related to constructions of masculinity. Informed by
four focus group discussions, findings highlight the value of examining discourses
conveyed through media as well as the possibilities and constraints prevalent representations
pose for young men regarding positive masculinity. The study holds potential
for going beyond the stereotypical risk-and-deficit approaches to studies on
Black men and masculinity by focussing on the significance of positive emotions in
constructions of masculinity.

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