Research Output
Exploring male identity in non-professional carers of someone with cancer: preliminary analysis
Across the world the majority of home‐based care for ill family members is carried out by women. Consequently, research in this field has predominately focused on female carers, meaning less is known about the male carer experience. My study will addresses this gap.

To explore what it is like to be a male and care for a partner with a diagnosis of cancer.

Longitudinal qualitative design with a narrative approach. 10 men who care for their partner due to their cancer diagnosis will be interviewed three times over the course of a year. The broad theoretical approach that will underpin the analysis is social constructivism. Through this lens of understanding meaning is created by the individual in the context of their social world.

Analysis from five interviews will be presented. Caring was framed as challenging producing feelings of anger, helplessness and emotional turmoil. The men aligned themselves with dominant constructions of masculinity—such as ‘remaining strong’ and wanting to protect their partner. At the same time they all expressed emotion and became visibly upset. Subsequently, I will reflect on the idea that masculinity is not a fixed entity but a fluid construct influenced by social expectations and the co-constructed nature of the interview relationship.

Exploring the way carers construct stories of their experiences will highlight their construction of self, in particular their ‘male’ self. Understanding more about the relationship between masculine identity and caring is a step towards designing supportive strategies that men may be more likely to engage with.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    08 March 2018

  • Publication Status:


  • DOI:


  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Young, J., Snowden, A., Stenhouse, R., & Kyle, R. (2018, March). Exploring male identity in non-professional carers of someone with cancer: preliminary analysis. Poster presented at British Psych-Oncology Society Annual Conference



Cancer, masculinity, carer

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