Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Dr. Harriet Hayes

Second Advisor

Dr. Benjamin Albers

Degree Award Date

Spring 2009


Men, Masculinity, Bridgewater College, Hegemony, Structured Action Theory, gender, co-ed residence halls


Gender and Sexuality | Social Psychology and Interaction | Sociology


Gender is a dynamic issue on the campus of Bridgewater College. The significance of gender at Bridgewater was clearly demonstrated during town hall meetings held during September 2008, where students were able to express their thoughts and opinions about the possibility that the college consider co-ed residence halls in the future. During these meetings, many essential statements from female students about male students were made. To address the issue of gender at Bridgewater College, this study will look at whether hegemonic masculinity exists among the male student population of the campus through in-depth interviews. Also, the theoretical perspective of Messerschmidt's structured action theory will be tested and used to analyze how interaction within specific social situations contributes to differences in how masculinity is constructed. It was found that hegemonic masculinity is not a prevalent force on the campus of Bridgewater College, and that other forces impact this observation.