Masculinities, cultural worldviews and risk perceptions among South African adolescent learners
This study investigated the relationship between masculinities, cultural worldviews and societal risk perceptions in a sample of adolescent school-going boys in South Africa. Connell’s theory of hegemonic masculinity and cultural theory of risk provided the theoretical frameworks for this study. The findings showed that males conforming to the traditional masculinity type were more likely to endorse a hierarchical and individualist worldview. They were also less concerned about the impact of a number of societal risks on the South African public such as environmental risks and risks associated with crime and social instability than participants conforming to the progressive masculinity type. Participants conforming to progressive masculine norms were more likely to hold an egalitarian worldview. The results of mediation analyses suggest that among self-identified traditional and progressive males in our study, judgements about certain risk concerns are best understood through their views of society and the preferred forms of social organisation and power in society. Given the above findings, it is suggested that intervention strategies in risk management need to appreciate that subjective processes of risk identification are fundamentally gendered in nature and may be influenced by one’s cultural worldview.