'We just get really fired up': indigenous boys, masculinities and schooling
This paper presents the perspectives of a group of Indigenous boys on their experiences of schooling and social relationships. It is drawn from a broader research project that investigated the experiences of boys in Australian schools with a focus on exploring the impact of masculinities on their lives. Two Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander boys from Western Australia and 18 boys from North Queensland were interviewed, and I draw on this data to analyse some of the issues they identify as impacting significantly on their lives at school, particularly with regard to their experiences of racism. I argue that it is important and necessary to include the voices of Indigenous boys in this research literature so that a deeper understanding of the racialised power relations between boys at school can be gained. However, this kind of analysis needs to avoid the tendency to construct Indigenous boys as victims or as problems and lacking agency. The paper concludes with the assertion that any analysis of the experiences of Indigenous boys needs to be undertaken within critical sociological and postcolonial frameworks that foreground the social practices of masculinity in these boys' lives.
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