Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership


Initiatives to understand and transform masculinity have increasingly emerged in higher education, calling attention to the consequences of dominant, masculine gender expectations that permeate throughout college campuses. These masculinity-centered practices in higher education encompass formalized, departmental initiatives for students, faculty, and/or staff that examine topics related to masculinity through educational workshops, speaker events, professional development sessions, dialogue spaces, and other efforts. While it is often assumed that these practices support the advancement of gender equity, scholars have theorized the ways in which this work can also lead to depoliticized efforts that may, in fact, reify patriarchal and other systems of domination. To analyze these tensions in practice, this dissertation study centered the perspectives of women's and gender equity center (WGEC) practitioners who engage masculinity-centered practices utilizing feminist and other critical frameworks. Through an interpretive, phenomenological research design, this study closely examined the lived experiences of 12 current and former WGEC practitioners as they negotiated the liberatory possibilities, limitations, and complexities of examining masculinity as part of their feminist-oriented praxis. An analysis of the findings revealed critical insights for developing more equitable approaches for masculinity-centered practices in higher education.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.