Doctoral student in a lab

Exploring Reflexivity and Men’s Health

  • School: School of Science and Technology
  • Starting: 2018
  • Funding: UK student / EU student (non-UK) / International student (non-EU) / Self-funded


A wide body of evidence has firmly placed men’s health on the public and academic agenda. Much of this work shows the damaging effects that notions of ‘traditional’, ‘toxic’ or ‘hyper’ masculinity can have on men’s health-related behaviours. However, at the same time as this dataset grew, a robust and multifaceted critique of theoretical models of masculinity developed (Donaldson, 1993; Hearn, 1996, 2004; Matthews, 2015; Messerschmidt, 2012; Peterson, 2003). What, then, do these theoretical discussions mean for the veracity of findings that draw on problematic conceptualisations of men and stories about them?

This project will explore one key dimension of this issue by focusing on how, and in what ways, reflexivity might account for the health-related thoughts, feelings and actions of men. In particular, it will draw on Matthews’ work on health (2015) and pastiche identity (2014, 2016, 2018) to test the hypothesis that men who can reflexively (re)consider narratives about gender will engage in more health-related behaviours than those who do not.

In considering this proposition it is expected that this project will: 1) shed light on the specifics of men’s health-related practices that have to date remained under explored; and 2) help weave a theoretically nuanced account of reflexivity into previous theorisations of men and narratives about masculinity.

While the practical details of this project will be confirmed after a systematic literature review has been conducted, it is expected that the research will produce a validated survey and conduct in-depth interviews with men about their health-related behaviours. As such, candidates with experiences and/or demonstrable skills in such research methods will be well suited to succeed in the role. Furthermore, knowledge of social science and/or critical health studies is desired but not essential.


Dr Christopher Matthews

Prof. Barbara Pierscionek

Entry qualifications

To be eligible to apply, you must hold (or be expect to obtain by 1st October 2018) a strong 2.1 honours degree or a Masters degree (or equivalent as verified by UK Naric and the NTU International development Office) in social science, sociology, sport and exercise science, anthropology, research methods, cultural studies, social policy and/or related fields.

How to apply

How to apply

Applications close at 5 pm on Wednesday 1 August.

Download an application form here.
Please make sure you take a look at our application guidance notes before making your application.

Further information on how to apply can be found on this page.

Fees and funding

This is a self-funded PhD opportunity

Guidance and support

Further information on guidance and support can be found on this page.

Still need help?

Christopher Matthews