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The Meaning of Difference

Young Gay Males’ Experiences at School in Australia

Murray Drummond

This article is based on in-depth interviews with 14 young gay men aged between 18 and 25 years. Using narratives in a life-historical perspective the young men reflect upon their boyhood and adolescent years to highlight the many and varied issues confronting young gay males during this formative period. While a range of themes will be identified through use of inductive thematic analysis, it is the school environment and the process of schooling that highlights the issues associated with difference that young gay males confront while growing up. Life histories provide a unique method of understanding difference in the lives of individuals. Capturing the essence of meaning of a young gay male’s life (under the age of 18) through consensual research data is difficult due to the ethical dilemmas presented in requiring a parent or guardian to provide the right for participation. Therefore, life histories become even more important where young gay males are concerned in an attempt to understand the issues they confront while growing up gay in a heterosexualized culture.

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"I Will Make You Understand"

Using Pictures to Explore Young Boys' Sport Experiences

Deborah Agnew, Jennifer Fane, Murray Drummond and Philippa Henderson

This qualitative project explores the meanings young boys ascribe to sport experiences and how understandings and perspectives of sport differ between parent(s) and child. Thirteen five-year-old boys and their parent(s) (n = 17) took part in semi-structured interviews focusing on meanings associated with their sport and physical activity experiences. The boys undertook a drawing exercise as part of the interview to elicit their experiences as distinct from those of their parent(s). The seventeen parents were interviewed about their motivation for encouraging their sons to be active. The results indicated that the parents’ and boys’ constructions and understandings of the boys’ sport experienced differed in two important ways; the gendering of the sport experience, and the way in which the sport experience is conceptualized.

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Judy Y. Chu, Murray Drummond, Peter Redman, Gary Alan Fine, Robert Morrell, Amanda Keddie, Neill Korobov, Diederik F. Janssen, Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli, Mary Jane Kehily, Sami Timimi, Murray Pomerance and Ronald F. Levant

The following are responses to a request to the members of our editorial board and contributors to Thymos on the theme of the status of boyhood studies. The twelve contributions take quite different perspectives on the topic. They raise very different questions and present distinctive interests. All have trained their scholarly eye on what boyhood studies means today. Each points to an area of scholarly work that demands the attention of those of us interested in boyhood and the lives of boyhood—as we determine just what these notions mean. Suggestions for further reading offered by the contributors are given at the end (p. 147).