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Training Bodies, Training Minds?

Interrogating the Configured and Configuring of Masculinities in PE

Michael Kehler

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Wooden Man

Coetzee or the Possibility of Differend as Ethics

Teresa Joaquim

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Young Delinquency as a Social Product in an Age of Correction

The Chicago School’s Struggle to Humanize Transgression

Shane Blackman

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Stiles X. Simmons and Karen M. Feathers

ABSTRACT

Critical literacy instruction has been offered as a means of improving the historically low reading achievement of African American boys. This study examined the impact of two strategies, disconnections and problem posing, on the critical literacy development of upper elementary African American boys. The boys were engaged in six instructional sessions using the strategies to foster discussion. Transcripts of the boys’ discussions across the sessions demonstrate that the strategies promoted the boys’ engagement in critical discussion, including comparing the text with their own life experiences, considering relationships between characters, and exploring the potential influence of the author’s gender on the story. In a short time period, the boys made substantial progress toward critical literacy.

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Books Are Boring! Books Are Fun!

Boys’ Polarized Perspectives on Reading

Laura Scholes

ABSTRACT

This article draws on interview data gathered from a broader study concerned with examining issues associated with boys, masculinities, and reading at school. The focus is on eight boys in Years 5 and 6 who attend schools in a range of socioeconomic communities in Australia. The boys offer polarized perspectives on reading, with four boys reporting positive attitudes toward reading and describing reading books as “fun” and another four boys describing reading books as “boring.” Examined are inflections in these two groups of boys’ experiences as readers at school, making visible the way boys’ attitudes influence engagement with reading. This research moves beyond broad generalizations about boys to consider complexities inherent in notions of masculinity and how different groups of boys internalize their positioning of reading in ways that influence their attitudes, engagement, and subsequently outcomes in reading.

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Buffeted by Political Winds

Children’s Literature in Communist Romania

Adrian Solomon

ABSTRACT

This article provides insight into the practically uncharted territory of children’s literature published during the Communist regime in Romania, with a special emphasis on boys’ roles and masculinity in the context of major themes and obsessions. Its purpose is to reveal both the nonideological side of this literature and the extent to which it might have exerted a decisive influence on education. The conclusion is that the power of nonideological seduction was greater than that of indoctrination.

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Introduction

Theorizing Boys’ Literacies and Boys’ Literatures in Contemporary Times

Garth Stahl and Cynthia Brock

ABSTRACT

This special issue of Boyhood Studies, entitled “Contemporary Boys’ Literacies and Boys’ Literatures,” is composed of international cutting-edge research focused on boys’ formal and informal literacy practices, boys’ engagements with a variety of texts, as well as gender-focused/gender-critical teaching practices in the literacy classroom. The articles interrogate how boys are positioned and how they position themselves within their acquisition of literacy skills. The research presented highlights the diversity and complexity of boys’ literacy practices. The scholars contend that how we define literacy is undergoing change alongside significant alterations to traditional cultural practices associated with boyhood. We see attention drawn to how these literacy practices operate in relation to the formation of boys’ masculinities in terms of how they do boyhood in contemporary times.

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A Literacy Landscape Unresolved

Beyond the Boy Crisis and into Superhero Fiction

Michael Kehler and Jacob Cassidy

ABSTRACT

Drawing on qualitative data of secondary school students, we examine how gender is implicated in a specific provincial literacy directive to employ comics and superhero fiction to engage boys. Grounded in a multiliteracies and masculinities framework, we interrogate the intersection of gender and literacy practices in a secondary school English classroom. The research in this article offers a counternarrative to a prevailing discourse grounded in essentialist notions of all boys as struggling readers and instead illustrates the rich potential between students’ lifeworld connections and comics as engaging and critical literacy texts beyond the “boy book” approach adopted in many literacy classrooms. We further argue that a sharper focus on critical literacy pedagogy, which incorporates comics and superhero fiction, reveals an invisibility of gender differences among adolescent reading practices rather than the visibility that has prompted and maintained gendered reform strategies to “help the boys” increase achievement levels in literacy classrooms.

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My Words, My Literacy

Tracking of and Teaching through the On-Field Language Practices of Australian Indigenous Boys

David Caldwell, Nayia Cominos, and Katie Gloede

ABSTRACT

This article addresses the lack of research into boys’ on-field language practices in sport and the potential to integrate this as text into the multiliteracy classroom. We recount the findings of a small-scale pilot project—“Real Language in Real Time”—which applied innovative audiodigital recording technology to the context of Indigenous Australian boys participating in Australian rules football. We review the relevant literature across a range of intersecting areas: boys and literacy in relation to construal of masculinity, Aboriginal boys and sport, Aboriginal literacy more generally, and sociometrics. The next sections describe the research question, project context, the innovative technology used to collect the on-field data in real time, and the principles informing the analysis, with examples from one of the literacy resources developed. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of this novel study, with specific reference to the project’s potential construal of a homogenous masculine discourse.