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Deevia Bhana and Emmanuel Mayeza

In this article we focus on sixty South African primary schoolgirls’ experiences of male violence and bullying. Rejecting outmoded constructions of schoolgirls as passive, we examine how girls draw on different forms of femininity to manage and address violence at school. These femininities are non-normative in their advancing of violence to stop violence but are also imbued with culturally relevant meanings about care, forgiveness, and humanity based on the African principle of ubuntu. Moving away from the discursive production of girls’ victimhood, we show how girls construct their own agency as they actively participate in multiple forms of femininity advocating both violence and forgiveness. Given the absence of teacher and parental support for girls’ safety, we conclude with a call to address interventions contextually, from schoolgirls’ own perspectives.

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Aiyana Altrows

Bringing rape stories into popular discussion was a crucial success of the Second Wave Women’s Liberation movement. Popular culture is now inundated with rape stories. However, the repetitive scripts and schemas that dominate these are often informed by neoliberal individualism that is antithetical to feminism. The contradictions that characterize the tensions between feminism and neoliberalism in these texts are typically postfeminist, combining often inconsistent feminist rhetoric with neoliberal ideology. By examining the use of the silent victim script in young adult rape fiction, in this article I argue that most young adult rape fiction presents rape as an individual, pathological defect and a precondition to be managed by girls on an individual basis, rather than an act of violence committed against them.

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Catherine Vanner

In this article, I join a conversation about the definition and value of the term transnational girlhood. After surveying the fields of transnationalism, transnational feminism, and girlhood studies, I reflect on the representation of girls who act or are discussed as transnational figures. I critique the use of the term, analyze movements that connect girls across borders, and close by identifying four features of transnational girlhood: cross-border connections based on girls’ localized lived experiences; intersectional analysis that prioritizes the voices of girls from the Global South who, traditionally, have had fewer opportunities to speak than their Global North counterparts; recognition of girls’ agency and the structural constraints, including global structures such as colonialism, international development, and transnational capitalism, in which they operate; and a global agenda for change.

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Erica Morales, Alex Blower, Samantha White, Angelica Puzio, and Matthew Zbaracki

Ingram, Nicola. 2018. Working-Class Boys and Educational Success: Teenage Identities, Masculinities, and Urban Schooling. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Pinkett, Matt, and Mark Roberts. 2019. Boys Don’t Try? Rethinking Masculinity in Schools. London: Routledge.

Agyepong, Tera Eva. 2018. The Criminalization of Black Children: Race, Gender, and Delinquency in Chicago’s Juvenile Justice System, 1899–1945. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Farrell, Warren, and John Gray. 2018. The Boy Crisis. Dallas, TX: BenBella Books.

Potter, Troy. 2018. Books for Boys: Manipulating Genre in Contemporary Australian Young Adult Fiction.Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier.

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"Boys in Power"

Consent and Gendered Power Dynamics in Sex

Katrín Ólafsdottir and Jón Ingvar Kjaran

Sexual consent determines if sex is consensual, but the concept is under-researched globally. In this article, we focus on heterosexual young men and how they negotiate sex and consent. We draw on peer group interviews to understand how young men are constituted by the dominant discourses at play in shaping their realities. We have identified two different discourses that inform consent, the discourse of consent (based on legal, educational, and grassroots discourses), and the discourse of heterosexuality (based on the heterosexual script, porn, and gender roles) resulting in conflicting messages for boys. They are supposed to take responsibility for sex to be consensual as well as being gentle partners, but at the same time, the heterosexual discourse itself produces power imbalances in sex and dating.

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Michael R. M. Ward

It is with real pleasure that I introduce this issue of Boyhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal (BHS), my first full issue as Editor. The past few months have been a learning curve in terms of the roles and responsibilities expected when editing an international journal, but I am very pleased with what we have to offer here. At a very important and critical time for gender scholars, I want to use this editorial as a general announcement of the editorial change, or addition, in editorship and the future direction, I would like to take the journal in. It is also an opportunity to introduce editorial board members, old and new to the readership and to outline what follows in volume 12, issue 1.

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Mofeyisara Oluwatoyin Omobowale, Offiong Esop Akpabio, and Olukemi Kehinde Amodu

Masculinity, as an identity signifier along gender lines, varies from one society to another. The nature, definition, and expression of masculinity (dominance, oppression, violence, and aggression) through social interactions may breed bullying, as found in the Agbowo community of Ibadan, Nigeria. The data for the study were collected through mixed methods and revealed that patriarchal constructed masculinity allows for hegemonic dominance, aggression, oppression, and violent acts that foster bullying among adolescent males in Agbowo. Hence, to address bullying-related problems among adolescents, an understanding of the societal context in which it is carried out is required.

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Brian L. Wright and Donna Y. Ford

As early as preschool, Black boys face low and negative expectations that contribute to excessive subjective-based discipline, over-referrals by teachers to special education, and under-referrals by teachers to gifted education. An increasing body of research demonstrates that the predominantly White female teaching force is complicit in allowing deficit thinking to compromise their views of Black boys’ languages, literacies, strengths, and cultural ways of being. We present an overview of these issues, with most attention devoted to gifted education, as it is a neglected topic when it comes to Black boys. We also share a formula for educators to adopt that sets minimum representation percentages in order to be equitable in gifted education for Black students in general and Black boys in particular.

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Rural Failures

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

Susanna Areschoug

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.

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"We Had to Stick Together"

Black Boys, the Urban Neighborhood Context, and Educational Aspirations

Derrick Brooms

Studies investigating disadvantaged urban neighborhoods often focus on students’ academic underperformance, ways they succumb to environmental stressors, involvement in illicit activities, and adherence to street-oriented behaviors and culture. This article focuses on the ways a select group of Black boys in the US successfully navigated structural impediments and interpersonal challenges during their secondary school years and eventually matriculated to college. Drawing on interview data, the article examines students’ sense-making and the importance of their peers in navigating the urban environment: (1) interactions with people in the neighborhood and (2) strategies to negotiate the urban environment context in pursuit of their educational aspirations. The students’ narratives highlight the benefits they assign to their peer relationships and collectivist efforts to support their educational goals.