This article considers the so-called war on boys through a critical examination of the way boys and young men have been represented in what might be termed the male role model discourse in policy and media debates in the UK. Critical engagement with academic literatures that explore the male role model response to what has become known as the problem of boys, predominantly in education and in welfare settings, reveals that contemporary policy solutions continue to be premised on outdated theoretical foundations that reflect simplistic understandings of gender and gender relations. In this article we advocate policy solutions that acknowledge the complexity and diversity of boys’ and young men’s experiences and that do not simplistically reduce their problems to the notion of a crisis in masculinity.
Anna Tarrant, Gareth Terry, Michael R.M. Ward, Sandy Ruxton, Martin Robb, and Brigid Featherstone
BOOK REVIEW Sarah Rothschild. 2013. The Princess Story: Modeling the Feminine in Twentieth-Century American Fiction and Film . New York: Peter Lang. Amy S. Pattee. 2011. Reading the Adolescent Romance: Sweet Valley High and the Popular Young Adult
Robyn Singleton, Jacqueline Carter, Tatianna Alencar, Alicia Piñeirúa-Menéndez, and Kate Winskell
dialogical, narratives draw on the lived experience of both teller and audience as well as on their shared cultural models ( Winskell et al. 2013 ). As a data source they offer researchers the opportunity to explore normative issues in a way that approximates
Rethinking the Influence of Elena Fortún’s Celia
Ana Puchau de Lecea
. These young characters, as reflected in the works of Carmen Laforet (1921–2004), were modelled on Celia and written in emulation of Fortún’s literary style. Appreciating her influence on different occasions, writer and critic Carmen Martín Gaite pointed
Karl Frerichs, Peter Kuriloff, Celine Kagan, Joseph Nelson, Dwight Vidale, and John Thornburg
"Reinventing Leadership Training Using a Participatory Research Model" by Karl Frerichs and Peter Kurlioff
"Reading for Masculinity in the High School English Classroom" by Celine Kagan
"Helping Boys Take Flight: A Peer-Mentoring Program for Boys of color at the Riverdale Country School" by Joseph Nelson and Dwight Vidale
"A Relational Approach to Teaching Boys" by John Thornburg
Exploring the CBBC Television Tween
In this article, I argue that while the tween is understood as having transnational relevance and mobility, this is often emphasized in ways that overlook the national and cultural specificities of tween culture. I argue that the distinctive context of British television history augments the connections between national and transnational paradigms of tween culture in important ways. While authenticity, friendships, and honesty remain foregrounded in a number of Children’s British Broadcasting Corporation (CBBC) shows, these are constructed through a national discourse that connects to transnational models of the tween girl but also mobilizes a cultural specificity that is inextricable from the broadcasting context in which it is produced.
This article explores the development of girl characters in works for children and young adults during Perestroika. First, it examines established heroines from the Soviet era, such as Elli in Volkov's Volshebnik izumrudnogo goroda [The wizard of the emerald city], and then goes on to examine the depiction of female protagonists and characters in works written during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The conclusion is that although there was a clear demand for new heroines and a new role model for girls, writers did not succeed in providing strong, independent female characters with a sense of agency. Instead, the Soviet preference for male protagonists continued, with females often being portrayed stereotypically as weak and ineffectual.
Representations of Ideal Manliness in Twentieth-Century English Boys’ Annuals
Twentieth-century English boys’ annuals often defined masculinity against notions of the “otherness” of gender, race and class. The children’s annual, which developed as a popular literary form during the Victorian period, was designed to instruct and entertain. Dominant ideologies about gender, race and class were reproduced and reinforced for an uncritical readership. High production values meant that annuals became a form of “hard copy,” re-read by several generations. In boys’ annuals, mid-Victorian styles of masculinity were reiterated during the twentieth century. In these narratives, boy heroes demonstrated superiority to various groups of “others,” thereby modelling and inscribing an increasingly old-fashioned masculinity and preserving older ideologies. Exploring a neglected area of ideological history of gender, this article shows how boys’ annuals presented readers with notions of “masculinity” defined by comparison with “the other,” who might be indigenous, feminine or lower-class.
Contemporary U.S. Girls’ Organizations and the Public Sphere
Jessica K. Taft
This article addresses the growing concern with youth civic engagement by asking how contemporary U.S. girls' organizations envision girls' civic identities. Recent years have seen the growth of girls' organizations that aim to involve girls in their communities. Based on extensive document research and two ethnographic case studies, my analysis distinguishes between this emergent transformative approach and a more widespread, normative model. Transformative organizations engage girls in a sociological analysis of the conditions of their lives, believe that girls should have public authority, and encourage girls' involvement in social change projects. Normative organizations rely upon a psychological understanding of girls' problems, imagine the public as a space of threat and as being full of barriers girls that must learn to overcome, and emphasize service over political action. By comparing these two approaches, this article suggests that scholars and practitioners should carefully consider the implications of organizations for girls' relationship to the public sphere.
Schools, Masculinity and Boyness in the War Against Boys
Chris Haywood, Máirtín Mac an Ghaill, and Jonathan A. Allan
The re-publication of Christine Hoff Sommers’s book on the War Against Boys (2000, 2013) continues to feed into a widely circulating premise that feminist inspired pedagogical strategies are having a detrimental effect on boys’ experience of education. It resonates with a UK newspaper article whose author asked: “Why do women teachers like me treat being a boy as an illness?” (Child 2010). In the late 1990s, Sara Delamont had already highlighted how the media targeted feminists for the failure of boys, where “school and classroom regimes … favour females and feminine values; a lack of academic/scholarly male role models for boys, a bias in favour of feminism in curricula, a lack of toughness in discipline, and a rejection of competition in academic or sporting matters” (1999: 14).