Rural Failures

Representations of (Im)mobile Young Masculinities and Place in the Swedish Countryside

in Boyhood Studies
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  • 1 Stockholm University susanna.areschoug@buv.su.se
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Abstract

Critical boyhood scholars have consistently problematized the moral panic directed at boys’ educational achievements, for instance, by illustrating how the issue is intersected by power hierarchies such class and race, but have not been as attentive to the spatialized dimensions of this discourse. In the Swedish debate, boys in (post)industrial towns in rural regions—affected by decades of deindustrialization—are often pointed out as at risk of becoming unemployed societal liabilities. Documenting the lives, aspirations, and future trajectories of young and rural working-class boys, the television series The School Boys (Skolpojkarna) analyzed in this article reproduces this trope and connects anxieties regarding “redundant” masculinities with rural spaces. Using feminist and post-structural approaches to gender and space, I show how this media production, supplied for educational purposes, mediates normative understandings of young rural masculinity.

Contributor Notes

Susanna Areschoug is a PhD student in the Department of Child and Youth Studies at Stockholm University. She holds a BA and an MA in Gender Studies from Uppsala University. Her research project concerns youth culture and identity formation among young people in the Swedish countryside. Based on a 10-month-long ethnographic fieldwork, the study explores youth's emplacement, experiences, and everyday life from a post-structural intersectional perspective. Email: susanna.areschoug@buv.su.se | ORCID-iD: 0000-0003-4446-7238

Boyhood Studies

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