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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

Abstract

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

Abstract

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

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.

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“We Had to Stick Together”

Black Boys, the Urban Neighborhood Context, and Educational Aspirations

Derrick Brooms

Abstract

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.

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Asserting the Capacity to be Free

Disciplinary Violence at the Intersection of Race and Gender in Shifting Contexts

Catherine Kramarczuk Voulgarides

In this article, I explore how the social contract of schooling and the three functions of schooling (Noguera 2003)—to sort, to socialize, and to control— impact and constrain the freedom and agency of a group of young Black and Latinx men in one suburban school district that was experiencing sociodemographic shifts in the Northeastern United States. I use qualitative data to frame how the young men experience schooling, and I show how the local community context facilitates the institutionalization of discriminatory sorting processes and racially prejudiced norms. I also show how the young men are excessively controlled and monitored via zero tolerance disciplinary practices, which effectively constrains their humanity and capacity to freely exist in their school and which inadvertently strengthens the connective tissue between schools and prisons.

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Boarding School for First-Grade Black Boys

Stereotypes, a Single-Sex Program, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Joseph D. Nelson and Sangeeta Subedi

Single-sex schooling for boys of color has become popular throughout the United States. Leaders and educators often consider these environments a school-based intervention to address adverse outcomes associated with Black boys. A contributing factor to these outcomes have been negative stereotypes of Black males related to Black masculinity norms, which developmental psychologists contend boys internalize during childhood. Interviews and observations were conducted over 12 months to describe a single-sex boarding program for first-grade African-American boys, affiliated with a coed independent school. Designed to facilitate boys’ positive identity development, the program’s mission and vision, educational philosophy, and schedule/programming will be primarily described from boys’ perspectives. The goal is to explore the merits of this single-sex intervention to ameliorate how Black male stereotypes and masculinity norms contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline.

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Chutes, Not Ladders

The Control and Confinement of Boys of Color through School Discipline

Pavithra Nagarajan

This article explores how a single-sex school for boys of color intentionally and unintentionally (re)defines masculinity through rules and rituals. The school’s mission posits that boys become men through developing three skills: selfregulation, self-awareness, and self-reflection. Drawing from qualitative research data, I examine how disciplinary practices prioritize boys’ ability to control their bodies and image, or “self-regulate.” When boys fail to self-regulate, they enter the punitive system. School staff describe self-regulation as integral to out-of-school success, but these practices may inadvertently reproduce negative labeling and control of black bodies. This article argues for school cultural practices that affirm, rather than deny, the benefits of boyhood.

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Educational Persistence in the Face of Violence

Narratives of Resilient Latino Male Youth

Adrian H. Huerta

Latino boys and young men often carry the debt of violence into different spaces. This invisible trauma manifests into disruptive behaviors in schools. It is well documented that violence in urban communities and schools has received significant attention from researchers, but little attention has been paid to Latino male youth as individuals and the various forms of violence they have experienced, and how that impacts educational persistence. This qualitative study focuses on 26 Latino male middle and high school students who are attending two continuation schools to understand the types of violence they have experienced and their educational aspirations after high school.

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“I Was Considered a Throw Away Child”

The School-to-Prison Pipeline through the Eyes of Incarcerated Adolescent and Adult Males

Taryn VanderPyl, Kelsie Cruz, and Hannah McCauley

The concept of the school-to-prison pipeline (STPP) has been extensively studied over the last few decades, yet few have included the perspective of those whom it has affected—incarcerated adolescent and adult males. Educators and policy makers are limited in determining solutions because they are missing this key perspective. Using a critical race theory framework, we focus on the voices of incarcerated youth and adults who have personally experienced the STPP. Young men within the juvenile and adult justice systems were asked their thoughts on and experiences with the STPP. Responses from 16 participants are shared, along with what they believe would have worked to help them stay out of the system, and their recommendations for how to improve the factors contributing to the STPP