Producing contradictory masculine subject positions: Narratives of threat, homophobia and bullying in 11-14 year old boys

Phoenix, Ann; Frosh, Stephen and Pattman, Rob (2003). Producing contradictory masculine subject positions: Narratives of threat, homophobia and bullying in 11-14 year old boys. Journal of Social Issues, 59(1) pp. 179–195.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/1540-4560.t01-1-00011

URL: http://www.swetswise.com/eAccess/viewAbstract.do?a...

Abstract

This paper reports a qualitative analysis of data from a study of masculinity in 11–14 year old boys attending twelve London schools. Forty-five group discussions (N= 245) and two individual interviews (N= 78) were conducted. The findings indicate that boys' experiences of school led them to assume that interviews would expose them to ridicule and so threaten their masculinity. Boys were generally more serious and willing to reveal emotions in individual than in group interviews. A key theme in boys' accounts was the importance of being able to present themselves as properly masculine in order to avoid being bullied by other boys by being labeled "gay." The ways in which boys were racialized affected their experiences of school.

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