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Transcript of SS6030
Youth, Schools and Masculinities
Space and experience?
'spaces are not remembered for what they are, but for what they afford the child'
We'll be looking at the learning that happens in hidden, non-official school places.
Connell (2000, p. 151) argued that school is
‘one of the major sites for identity construction including masculinity formation’.
These intersections also need to be understood through identities
Identities are not historically fixed but are rather constantly fluctuating. Hall (1990) claimed that:
‘Identities are not as transparent and unproblematic as we think. Perhaps instead of thinking of identity as an already accomplished fact, which the new cultural practices then represent, we should think, instead, of identity as a production, which is never complete, always in process, and always constituted
within, not outside representation
How can the individual be moved to the collective?
Some of the data...
Prosser (2007) argued that:
‘Because schools comprise individuals, agency and the capacity to (re)interpret generic visual culture; school people create their own unique visual culture’ (p.14).
Youth, Space and Masculinities
Although much of the time spent in schools by students is spent in classrooms, they also spend a significant amount of time in liminal spaces. The study of these spaces has not historically attracted a great deal of attention from scholars or researchers (Temple, 2008). There are numerous pieces of research examining the importance of space (During, 1999; Lefebvre, 1994; Soja, 1989; Tuan 1977), and research exploring the way in which schooling impacts on the construction of masculinities (Mac an Ghaill, 1994; Connell, 1989, 1995, 2001, Lesko, 2000), I proposed to investigate the intersection of these two areas of research.
‘All learning is emplaced’
My argument is that schools along with the family and the peer group have been understood as vital sites in which ideas about identities and self-construction are formed, enacted, regulated and legitimised. Nevertheless, these same sites are where these constructions can be challenged (Connell, 2001; Mac an Ghaill, 1994, O’Donoghue, 2007). It is important to theorise and understand how schools’ material practices and performative spaces may be a salient feature in the making of student identities, including gender identities.
How can these representations be accessed?
These feelings of ‘emplacement cannot always be gainfully expressed in/through words alone’ (O’Donoghue, 2007, p. 63).
By Jessie Bustillos
We continue with this block on institutions of childhood and youth...
-We have examined space and school and its contribution to schooling seen as social control; (Foucault's panopticon)
-We have considered what have been described as “moral geographies” of childhood
-We have examined the construction of a material environment for children informed by a childhood ideal and its expression through
-We continue to explore the relationships between spatiality, schooling and some constructions of youth identities;
-Think about how school spatiality shapes and shifts constructions of masculinities
-Intersectionality between space, gender and school experiences
-Continue to explore how theory is a tool through which and in which we can express our arguments
(Matthews and Limb, 1999, p. 77)
But for what they afford the child...
It happens in places and spaces; it is located and situated in and out of schools
(O’Donoghue, 2007, p. 62).
After all, schools are ‘constructed spaces’ as opposed to ‘natural’ spaces, where dominances, hierarchy, surveillance and segregation are sustained (Fain, 2004, p. 11).
These school spaces and student experiences need to be analysed against the school’s set of
as Foucault remarked ‘space is fundamental in any exercise of power’ (Foucault in During, 1990, p. 120).
London School Boards - Victorian
'an artwork is in fact made not once but hundreds of times, thousands of times by all those who have an interest in it, who find a material or symbolic profit in reading it, classifying it, decoding it, commenting on it, knowing it, possessing it'
(Bourdieu, 1996, p. 171)
‘doing research in and through visual art offers opportunities to capture and represent that which is not always linguistic, that which can be more profitably represented and understood through nonverbal forms of communication’ (2007, p. 63).
Similarly, Eisner pointed out that alternative forms of representation actively engaging participants can:
‘promise to increase the variety of questions that we can ask about educational situations we study…we can expect new ways of seeing things, new settings for their display, and new problems to tackle… put another way, our capacity to wonder is stimulated by the possibilities the new forms of representation suggest’ (1997, p. 8).
PRODUCTION OF PHOTOGRAPHS
‘A place where I can hide’
I took this photo because it’s a place
where I can hide...I can drink my drinks
and mess about. (Karl)
‘A place where you never really want to be’
This photo is taken because it’s a very ugly
place, you’re trouble if you hang around here
it’s all smelly and bad, there’s graffiti and all.
Taylor (1993) elaborates further on this disjuncture:
‘We expects schools to prepare children for living in a democratic society, yet we provide a learning environment that resembles a police state – hard, overly durable architecture.....such architecture fails to encourage a sense of ownership, participation or responsibility’ (p.37).
This is what the young people themselves had to say
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Bourdieu, P. (1996) The Rules of Art: Genesis and Structure of the Literary Field. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Connell, R. W. (2001) The Men and the Boys. California: University of California Press.
Connell, R.W. (1995) Masculinities. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Connell, R. W. (1989) Masculinities. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Connell, R.W. (1989) Cool Guys, Swots and Wimps: The Interplay of Masculinity and Education. Oxford Review of Education. Vol 15. 291-303.
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Lefebvre, H. (1994) The Production of Space. Oxford: Blackwell.
Lesko, N. (2000) Masculinities at School. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
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Mac an Ghaill, M. and Haywood, C. (2006) Gender, Culture and Society: Contemporary Femininities and Masculinities. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
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O’Donoghue, D. (2008) Situating Space and Place in the Making of Masculinities at School. Visual Studies: Routledge. 15 –33.
O’Donoghue, D. (2007) ‘James Always Hangs Out Here’. Visual Studies: Routledge. Vol 22. 62 – 73.
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‘This is not a nice space...I know some people hide here to drink Lucozade and hang out but it’s an uncomfortable space, other people get picked on here...like Mitchell hangs around here a lot and he’s very rough pushing people around and stuff’.
The above statements suggest that this place plays an imperative role in the formation of and performance of a masculinity that is forceful, antagonistic and in this case confined to the sidelines, as this is not a highly visible or patrolled space in the school. But in this somewhat hidden space there is a multiplicity of masculinities being enacted, constructed and re-shaped, from the pusher to the pushed, from the perpetrator to the victim, and from the performer to the spectator.
This image and the reasoning behind it demonstrate that students are impacted by the aesthetics of their school spaces.
When presented with this image a survey participant added:
‘This is like a very bad corner....you don’t want to hang around here...teachers see you different and one kid he had a fight he got expelled he brought a knife’.
I don’t mind being on this side
Because I play and stuff.
But I don’t like this side because I tripped
on the stairs and people just teased me.
Dan’s photograph captured the sterile character of this part of the playground, with hard edges, and multiple right angles, concrete and a lack of soft surfaces, these are the main components of this recreational space.
Survey participants also added that this playground was ‘boring’, ‘unpleasant’, ‘crap’ and ‘rubbish’, ‘there’s nothing to do, just stand and mock about’. There is a wider dissatisfaction with this space, and from observations I gathered that it seems too exposed and dull to be a preferred space for pupils.
The separation of the two spaces speak of a sense of displacement and confrontation between possible conflicting masculine identities. Equally, it is interesting to explore the possible difference between space and place that Dan may have captured here, where on one side he plays and moves through the space comfortably and on the other side he ‘tripped’ and ‘got teased’. The space where he moved still flows for him, but the spot where he tripped has stopped for him. This statement is of particular interest in relation to Tuan’s concept of space as movement and of place as pause (1977).
-There is a strong sense of spatiality in young people's accounts and experiences
-Young people's geographies and geographies of childhood offer insights into their lived experience
-These lived experiences should be accessed to understand the 'whole' educational experience of schooling instead of just focusing on 'being educated'
-The banal and ordinary in spatiality reveals an unspoken account and narrative of how children and young people relate to learning in groups and at a personal level