Original Articles

‘Bhuti’: Meaning and Masculinities in Xhosa Brothering

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 21, issue 2, 2011 , pages: 221–227
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2011.10820450
Author(s): Lisa Saville YoungRhodes University, South Africa, Catherine JacksonRhodes University, South Africa


The article explores the connections between context, masculinity and the fraternal relationship to understand brotherhood in Xhosa culture. The participant was a Xhosa man (32 years old, with tertiary level education). Data were collected using a semi-structured interview. The data suggest that the fraternal bond is constructed as a complex interplay of sometimes contradictory stances including those that reinforce authoritarian and hierarchical brothering practices. Counternarratives highlight the potential for intimacy and equality in these male-male relationships.

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