Learning to be male : effects of heterosexual hierarchies on the educational development of working class males in transition
This thesis draws on previous work by Apple (1992; 1993), Mac An Ghaill (1996, 1997, 1998), Connell «1994) and others along with the recorded dialogue of working-class males to argue that there is a link between heterosexual hierarchies and educational attainment. I suggest that link is often obstructive in society, communities, the home and importantly in school. Furthermore, schools too often inadvertently magnify and even promote the adverse effects of the hierarchies by the way they treat students and the relationship between the school and parents. Schools and learning in working-class communities needs to be understood through the lens of heterosexual hierarchies. The study highlights the issues faced by students within communities in transition from industrial era to modern era and draws particularly on the work of Bernstein (1977,1990) and Bourdieu (1977). These communities face not only development difficulties but often less appreciated, entrenched attitudes to learning and education, from teachers and community members, which work against the use of education to solve the development problems and create a virtuous-cycle of education and development within workingclass communities. Phillips (1991, 1993, 1999) is most helpful in framing the public/private debate which is used in the thesis to argue for much more open access and breaking down of barriers to education across the agerange and within communities. Quicke (1994, 1999), lIIich (1986), Moran (2004) and Field (2003) enable the findings of the enquiry to be placed within the debate for a more appropriate curriculum which enables working- 2 class males to access experiences which will enhance their education and change their attitudes to learning. Barnsley and in particular one school, from which many of the young lads were drawn, is used as a case study.