Race, Masculinity and Schooling: Muslim Boys and Education

Race, Masculinity and Schooling: Muslim Boys and Education

Race, Masculinity and Schooling: Muslim Boys and Education

Race, Masculinity and Schooling: Muslim Boys and Education

Synopsis

"a welcome and valuable contribution... because of Archer's ability to reveal for her readers the complex and dynamic ways in which young Muslim Asian boys in England construct their identities. Through a careful analysis, she demonstrates how stereotypes and inequalities have a real impact on the ways in which these young people negotiate their identities, reminding us of the importance of reading identities within their different contexts... an important and refreshing book" Journal of Education Policy, Muslim boys are currently 'hot topics' of social and educational debate: they have been associated with global terrorism, fundamentalism,urban rioting and, within the context of schooling, they appear to be suffering from disproportionately high rates of exclusion and low rates of achievement and post-16 progression. This timely and innovative book examines the issues in detail, fore-grounding Muslim boys' own views of their lives and schooling.The book explores the complex interplay between race/ethnicity, religion, masculinity and social class within Muslim boys' lives. Attention is also given to the role of the teacher/researcher within the boys' production of masculine identities.The book draws on illuminating new research data and reviews a wide range of literature on masculinity and race/ethnicity to enable readers to engage with complex social inequalities within the context of secondary schooling.

Excerpt

Educating boys is currently seen – both – globally and locally – to be in crisis. In fact, there is a long history to the question: what about the boys? However, it was not until the 1990s that the question of boys’ education became a matter of public and political concern in a large number of countries around the world, most notably the UK, the USA and Australia.

There are a number of different approaches to troubling questions about boys in schools to be found in the literature. The questions concern the behaviours and identities of boys in schools, covering areas such as school violence and bullying, homophobia, sexism and racism, through to those about boys’ perceived underachievement. In Failing Boys? Issues in Gender and Achievement, Epstein and her colleagues (1998) identify three specific discourses that are called upon in popular and political discussions of the schooling of boys: ‘poor boys’; ‘failing schools, failing boys’; and ‘boys will be boys’. They suggest that it might be useful to draw, instead, on feminist and profeminist insights in order to understand what is going on in terms of gender relations between boys and girls and amongst boys. Important questions, they suggest, are: what kind of masculinities are being produced in schools, in what ways, and how do they impact upon the education of boys? In other words, there is an urgent need to place boys’ educational experiences within the wider gender relations within the institution and beyond.

Despite the plethora of rather simplistic and often counter-productive ‘solutions’ (such as making classrooms more ‘boy-friendly’ in macho ways) that are coming from governments in different part of the English-speaking world and from some of the more populist writers in the area (e.g. Steve Biddulph), there is a real necessity for a more thoughtful approach to the issues raised by what are quite long-standing problems in the schooling of boys. Approaches for advice to researcher in the field of ‘boys’ under-

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.