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The Boy-problem: Gender equality, masculinity research and the story of the obsolete Swedish boy pupil
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Education, Department of Education.
2010 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract

In Sweden as in many other industrialised countries in the West have discourses highlighting boy pupils as losers in the contemporary school system been repeated the last decade. Theoretical informed by feminist poststructuralism (Butler 1990, Laclau & Mouffe 1985/2001) and Actor-Network-Theory (Latour 2005), this paper deals with how hegemonic transnational discourses presenting boys as a failing and under achieving group have been reconfigured when imported to and rearticulated in the Swedish context. By the intermingling with other discourses as the Swedish gender equality discourse, feministic discourses highlighting male practices as violence and sexism and Connells concept of hegemonic masculinity are Swedish boy pupils today through the discourse on the failing boy presented as a problematic, violent and undisciplined group of individuals ruled and governed by an obsolete masculinity concept. Masculinity is hereby pointed out as the main explanation to boy pupils practices and position in the Swedish national achievement statistics. In the analyses is it argued that the repetition and hegemony of the complementary two-sex-model together with the import of theories and findings fetched from masculinity research mainly conducted in Britain, US and Australia fix Swedish boy pupils to an old and obsolete masculinity concept problematised in the Swedish gender equality debate since the 1960th, while Swedish girl pupils, by instead being fixed to the opposite pole in the complementary sex model, are constituted as group of high achieving, modern, mature and flexible individuals. Although the story of the immature, problematic, lazy, low achieving Swedish boy pupil today have become hegemonic in Sweden, and thereby also opened for an articulation of conservative discourses stressing the importance of discipline, punishment, men and a more authoritarian leadership in Swedish schools, is this hegemony also repeatedly ruptured and undermined by the descriptions of boy and girl pupils presented in the critical Nordic masculinity research. The empirical material, which has been analysed with the tools offered in Discourse Theory and Actor-Network-Theory, consists of political documents, governmental reports, newspaper articles and ethnography from eight gender equality conferences held in Sweden between 2006-2009 with the aim to inform and discuss gender differences in school achievement

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010.
Keywords [en]
Masculinity, school, boys, achievment, transnational discourse flow, hegemonic masculinity, Other research relevant to Teachers Education
National Category
Gender Studies
Research subject
Gender Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-10308OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-10308DiVA, id: diva2:493839
Conference
XVII ISA World Conference on Sociology: Sociology On The Move, Göteborg 11-17 juli, 2010
Projects
Maskulinitet på schematAvailable from: 2012-02-08 Created: 2012-02-08 Last updated: 2013-06-12Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • vancouver
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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