“You mix up the thinking, and then you look at the journey”: ‘Pausing’ to reflect on masculinities in a South African township

Antonella (toni) Pyke

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5 Citations (Scopus)
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Changes in political, social, and economic structures in South Africa during the transition from apartheid to democratic governance in 1994 have put men and masculinity/ies under public and scholarly scrutiny. Attention has generally focused on the links between masculinity and violence, particularly among black men from low-income backgrounds, in attempts to understand the widespread levels of sexual violence throughout the country. Together, but in tension with the focus on men and violence, has been a literature that documents gender change in South Africa. This literature argues, for example, that men are embracing fatherhood and becoming more engaged in childcare. Nevertheless, such scholarship is overshadowed by a focus on men and violence. In this article, I reflect on the lives of a group of men living in contemporary Alexandra township, Johannesburg, South Africa, who are exploring what it means to be a man and the issues and challenges they face in their attempts to transition their masculine identities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-231
Number of pages19
JournalMen and Masculinities
Issue number2
Early online date14 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022


  • gender equality
  • masculinities in transition
  • South Africa
  • masculinity
  • masculine identity

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