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ERIC Number: EJ866252
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 27
ISSN: ISSN-0954-0253
Public and Secret Agents: Personal Power and Reflective Agency in Male Memories of Childhood Violence and Bullying
Malaby, Mark
Gender and Education, v21 n4 p371-386 Jul 2009
In-depth interviews with adult men regarding their childhood experiences with hegemonic displays of violence and bullying and the meaning they make of those experiences as adults were analysed using the theoretical work of R.W. Connell, and critiques of that work. The conclusion reached is that memories of childhood experiences of violence and bullying remain active in the adult psyche and the meanings of these experiences are framed by individuals' relative distance from or proximity to local hegemonic ideals, often reducing this issue to a binary of hegemonic or non-hegemonic. In doing so, males are able to emphasise the importance of personal power. Males who were proximate to hegemonic masculine practices either as students and/or adults are seen to reduce patriarchy to an issue of individual agency, while males who were less hegemonic in school describe themselves as largely powerless in the presence of hegemonic males. These males then recast their experiences in order to retroactively increase the power they possessed as agents. Together, these findings underscore some of the ways males work to focus privilege on individual merit and away from acknowledging complicit forms of masculinity, which in turn serves to maintain existing patriarchal structures and males' privileged positions within it. (Contains 1 note and 1 table.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A