Monash University
Ralph, B - Thesis 17AUG.pdf (2.37 MB)

Mates, masculinities and social change: An intergenerational exploration of emotion and intimacy in Australian men’s friendships

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posted on 2022-08-17, 07:12 authored by BRITTANY LOUISE RALPH
Men’s friendships have long been considered ‘activity-based’ and largely void of the trust and intimacy that women friends share – but recent research suggests this is changing. In this thesis, I draw on data from individual interviews with fourteen pairs of fathers and sons (n=28) to explore what this change looks like, why it has come about and what this says about the transformation of masculinity more broadly. Ultimately, I argue that the increasing influence of feminism, LGBTQIA+ rights and mental health discourse has destabilised traditional masculine norms that relate to friendship, allowing men to be more caring, expressive and intimate.


Principal supervisor

Steven Roberts

Additional supervisor 1

Brady Robards

Additional supervisor 2

Karla Elliott

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

School of Social Sciences (Monash Australia)


Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type


Campus location



Faculty of Arts