Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


African American gay men-Psychology, African American barbers-Attitudes, Barbershops-Sociological aspects, Gender identity, Masculinity, Sex, African American males, Sexuality


This qualitative study examines to what extent African American gay males who frequent the black barbershop share in their expressions of sexuality and masculinity while in the barbershop. The study further investigates the influence of the black barbershop on African American gay males and their comfort with expressing their masculinity and sexuality in this setting and the notion that the black barbershop functions as a microcosm of the black community, by reinforcing heterosexist philosophies. The participants, eight self-identified African American gay men, were recruited by word-of-mouth and snowball sampling. The researcher administered a demographic survey and interviewed participants about their experiences and how they express their sexual orientation and masculinity while inside the black barbershop. Results confirm that African American gay men experience the barbershop differently than what the research suggest; in which sexuality becomes conscious upon entering the barbershop and behavior is altered while in the barbershop.




iii, 45 p. : ill. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2010. Includes bibliographical references (p. 37-38)