Tag Archive | "masculinities"

Golden lads and girls all come to dust: School shootings and gender in a violent America


Golden lads and girls all must/As chimney-sweepers, come to dust. –Cymbeline Read the full story

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A report from from the BSA’s Young Masculinities one-day seminar


On Friday the 2nd of November, in an event entitled Young Masculinities: Challenges, Changes and Transitions the British Sociological Association’s Youth Study Group turned their attention to masculinities, an area receiving ever increasing academic attention in light of both the concerns of ‘the problem with boys’ as well as shifts within contemporary theories of masculinity. These shifting theories of masculinity have been usefully brought together in relation to education in particular in a recent article in Gender and Education by Chris Haywood and Máirtín Mac an Ghaill (October 2012), who suggest that “studies of masculinity in education are reconsidering how masculinity is being constituted” (2012: 580). Thus, while researchers within the field of gender and education have had masculinity as a central site of analysis for some time, in the case of the BSA’s Youth Study Group, masculinity has been noticeably absent as Steve Roberts, the group’s co-organiser remarked when opening the seminar. Although education acted as an investigatory location for some of the papers (Cann, Ingram, Kehler, Schalet), education as a specific avenue of investigation for young masculinities was interestingly not at the forefront of the papers being given. Forms of education could nonetheless be observed in the papers offered, with young men learning about acceptable forms of cultural consumption, learning about codes of conduct within particular subcultural contexts, learning to regulate themselves, and applying what it means to be a ‘man’ in transition(s) to the work place. The relationship between education and young men was therefore located, in most of the papers, at the level of social and cultural practice rather than at a formal or institutional level. Read the full story

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The Muddy-Booted Boys: The Lads’ Redneck American Cousins


It was the first day of school, and we were standing on the bleachers in the gymnasium, waiting for the seniors to make their ceremonial entrance.  I stood there with the ninth graders, craning my neck, trying to get a glimpse of the new senior class as they lined up in the hallway.  We show our respect by standing during the seniors’ entrance; they usually reward us by putting on a show while walking to their seats. Read the full story

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Boffins and geeks: geek or chic?


The labels swot, ear ’ole, boffin, keeno, geek and nerd resonate meaningfully across generations of school-goers and echo through the terrains of popular culture. Our Gender and Education viewpoint started life as a conversation about our own research into how such identities are imagined and lived. We wondered: Has ‘the rise of the nerd’ meant that being a ‘boffin’ at school has lost its stigma? Read the full story

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Missing men: back to school- same old story?


On Thursday 1 September, Michael Gove made a speech about how students behave in schools. One of his ideas for getting students to stop misbehaving in class included a plea for more men to take up the job of teaching.  In his speech the Education Secretary said:

“We need more male teachers – especially in primary schools – to provide children who often lack male role models at home – with male authority figures who can display both strength and sensitivity.”

Well, I agree with the Education Secretary but I suspect for different reasons. Read the full story

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Conference 2011 Keynote Address: Gender and Education in the Twenty-first Century, Engendering Debate? (Becky Francis)


Becky Francis’ keynote took on the task of exploring the current place of gender in the education system. She reflected on our current place as researchers in gender and education, on the theoretical challenges of our work and on our relationship to practice. Read the full story

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“I’m just a girl who just says no”: Guides to Keeping Your Legs crossed- Abstinence Only Sex Education for Girls


Whilst I am always happy to see critical discussion on the role of sex and relationship education in schools and youth centres, worryingly, this week saw a new amendment narrowly passed in the UK Commons. Read the full story

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Influences on Young Children’s Gender Identity: Observational Reflections


Bobbie: I’m Snow White.

(Bobbie has placed a cup on his head to symbolise a tiara and has draped his coat around his shoulders like a cloak)

Bobbie looks delicate, has long, blond hair and is easily mistaken for a girl. I made a mistake as I watched Bobbie and a group of boys and girls playing pirates. Thinking Bobbie was a girl, I was shocked when Terry and David, said: “He‘s always like this” “Bobbie is a girl.” “He’s a sissy.”  Bobbie‘s response to me about these comments also left me stunned: “You might think this is strange, but I like girls and I like being a girl.” These brief exchanges and the realisation that Bobbie was a boy made me question my understanding of gender. Why had the boys reacted to Bobbie as they had and why, at such an early age, was their behaviour so stereotypical and Bobbie’s not? Perhaps Terry and David were being ‘normal’. Read the full story

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