The Crisis of Masculinity Men's engagement with crisis helpline services from the perspective of crisis helpline operators.
(2015) The Crisis of Masculinity Men's engagement with crisis helpline services from the perspective of crisis helpline operators., no. 62.
This research explores the subjective perceptions of crisis helpline operators, of men's engagement with crisis helpline services. Connell's (1995, 2003, 2000) theoretical concepts of gender and masculinities are applied in order to examine this phenomenon. The study begins with a comprehensive look at the historical literature on suicide by Durkheim (1951) and moving on to more recent work which focusses upon men and suicide exclusively (Campbell et al. 2011; Hogan et al. 2012; Stark et al. 2012). A phenomenological hermeneutic perspective has been used in order to extract contextually rich data which emerged from semi-structured interviews with four crisis helpline operators in Edinburgh and Shetland. The data which emerged from these interviews highlighted a persistence of hegemonic masculinity within Scottish culture. There are very little differences in urban and rural engagement of crisis services by men, according to participants and there was insufficient evidence to support the need for gender specific services; however the services that are available need to be assessed and evaluated in order to keep them relevant in todays technologically advanced society. Being a crisis services operator requires an ability to recognize and manage their own emotions, when dealing with individuals in crisis. Strong emotional support within the crisis organisation accounts for an ability to deal with the emotional labour generated within this type of work. It can be argued, from this research, that there is a need for further research into male suicide because there is a high prevalence of suicide and low levels of engagement with crisis services in Scotland. The photograph shown on the title page was taken by artist and photographer Erik Petrie (2014); it depicts men leaving Hibernian's, Easter Road stadium, after a derby game against Hearts, in which they were defeated 2-1. This photograph displays an inherently masculine part of Scottish culture, football. The researcher chose this photograph as it symbolises, for her, men and their eternal struggle against the hegemony of being a man.