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(Re)Configuring masculinities in an ethno-centric Australian community school: complexity and contradictions

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This article draws on a case study of 15 boys aged between 13 and 14 years who attend an urban ethno-centric community school located in Melbourne, Australia. The study investigated how the boys' constructions of masculinity were mediated by a strong connectedness to their Greek cultural traditions and ideals. Data generated from focus group discussions provided insights into the complex ways in which the boys individually and collectively constructed their understandings of what it means to be a man. For most boys, maleness constituted cultural traditions and behaviours that must be learnt: a code of conduct which a boy acquires from his elders that is talked into existence and transmitted through a hegemonic discourse. Yet the findings also revealed the agency boys can exercise and the fluidity of their configurations: contradictions and inconsistencies being an inherent part of the recursive process of their gendered identity formation.
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Keywords: gendered identities; hegemonic masculinity; identity; masculinities

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Melbourne Graduate School of Education,University of Melbourne, ParkvilleMelbourne3010Australia 2: St Michael's Grammar School, St KildaMelbourne3184, Australia

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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