This study explores the themes of the experience of belonging to a male-only society, namely Freemasonry, by allowing members of the Freemasons to tell their stories of their experience of belonging to Freemasonry. The epistemological framework was that of phenomenology, using a qualitative research design. The study involved a series of in-depth individual interviews. Their stories provide alternative ways of perceiving men’s experience of belonging to a male-only society, focusing on the Freemasons. Several common themes were also identified in the participants’ interviews. The researcher found that the history of the Freemasons plays a large role in the member’s justification for female exclusion. Gender, as well as the members need to belong to a male- only society, gave the researcher some insight into their experience of belonging to a male-only society. The themes that were articulated in the study may be helpful in trying to understand the experiences of belonging to a male-only society.
Dissertation (MA (Clinical Psychology)--University of Pretoria, 2007.