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ERIC Number: EJ787359
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-0018-1498
An Interpretation of Juvenile Parolees' Gender Constructions at School
Smith, Brain J.
High School Journal, v85 n2 p43-53 Dec 2001-Jan 2002
This paper focuses on inner-city juvenile parolees' gendered interactions at a community school in a large southwestern city. The analysis seeks to interpret the students' gender constructions within the contexts of cultural ideologies and social-structural locations. Drawing from a year of field research at the school and interviews with youths and teachers, the author interprets youths' gender constructions with their peers and teachers as a reflection (and ultimately a creator) of these ideologies and locations. The author conceptualizes students' gendered identities "relationally," as being created during social interactions (Miron and Lauria, 1995: 31). Students at the community school constructed their gender in a variety of ways; male students used both hegemonic cultural ideologies and locally available resources to construct their masculinities. They often created their identities as men through discussions of crime, physical toughness/violence, opposition to school, heterosexuality, and dominance of females. Female students sometimes created their gendered identities through opposition to male students, and via discussions of physical toughness/violence and heterosexuality. Importantly, students' gender constructions did not rely on ideologically dominant resources such as paid work and school success. In addition, their active constructions of gender functioned to reproduce certain harmful cultural ideologies (e.g., men as being superior to women). The analysis suggests the necessity of creating schools which students' value, where they will want to spend their time and energy on learning useful knowledge rather than on reproducing existent ideologies of gender inequality and criminal violence. When these students rejected schools and teachers and celebrate physical violence and crime they also helped reproduce their own marginalization. (Contains 4 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A