The concept of masculinity is a tough one to understand and explain. It is extremely tough on young men trying to figure out who they are in the world. This study focuses on examining the ways in which young men of color (Black and Latino) define masculinity and how that affects their definition of personal success both within and outside an academic environment. Using the concepts of hegemonic masculinity (Connell 2005) along with the general theme of masculinity (Kimmel 2008) as a base of comparison I evaluate how young men of color view masculinity. I spent two weeks at a private institution in which I observed students and conducted 17 interviews with students in grades 7-12. By conducting in-depth interviews on topics such as: defining masculinity for men of color, the responsibilities of men of color, and how school experiences impact/influence one’s identity, I discuss how these young men engage others through a lens of performance (Goffman 1956, West and Zimmerman 1987). By analyzing the data found from the interviews and participant observation I break down what masculinity is to these students, how they perform masculinity and how an educational environment can impose a hyperawareness of their masculinity in their academics. Ultimately, I find that these young men suffer from the ideals and stereotypes that are placed on all men of color and as a result there is a need for familiarity in academic environments in which students can see positive examples of themselves and have someone to connect with racially, ethnically and culturally.


Guillén, Jennifer


Sociology and Anthropology



Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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