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Title: White working-class boys' negotiations of school experience and engagement
Author: Stahl, Garth
ISNI:       0000 0004 2730 8160
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis investigates how white working-class boys experience social and learner identities in three educational sites. It presents the findings of an in-depth sociological study of teenage boys from one locality in South London, focusing on the practices of ‘meaning-making’ and ‘identity work,’ the boys’ experience and the various disjunctures and commonalities between the social and learner identities. Working-class boys are often presented in homogeneous terms and this study explores the heterogeneity of being a working-class boy and the diversity of their experiences in education. The work is positioned within the debates regarding masculinity in schooling and working-class disadvantage; my focus is on how boys’ ‘lifeworlds’ are created in contrast and in relation to their schooling experience. How boys contend with neoliberal educational processes which are fundamentally about “continually changing the self, making informed choices, engaging in competition, and taking chances” (Phoenix 2004: 229) and the construction of what I call ‘egalitarianism’ was an important homogenous feature in the data. The methodological approach employed is integral to gaining this understanding. I draw on Bourdieu’s signature concepts and theoretical framework in order to understand the complexities and negotiations surrounding reconciling educational success with working-class values. To further my understanding, I also utilise elements of intersectionality questioning, in order to address the interplay between class, gender and ethnicity in the social and learner identities the boys constitute and reconstitute through the various discursive practices in which they participate.
Supervisor: Reay, Diane Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Bourdieu ; Masculinities ; White working-class