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‘Skateboarding is like dancing’: Masculinity as a performative visual culture in art education

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This article analyses the construction of skateboard masculinity as a performative visual culture, related to the conditions for masculine subject positions in upper secondary school visual art and media education. The empirical material comes from visual ethnographic research in classroom and discourse analysis of one pupil’s skateboarding video and an interview with the same pupil. The results show that the masculinity performed in both the visual art classroom and in pupil’s skate video is complex and moves between homosocial expressions and intimacy, risk-taking and visual culture enacted as being cool and an outsider. The analysis implies a linkage to a neo-liberal ideal in which the values of play and pleasure as a crucial aspect of counterculture are connected to entrepreneurial individualism, consumer creativity and market trends.
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Keywords: masculinity; performative; skateboard; visual art education; visual culture

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Publication date: September 1, 2016

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  • The International Journal of Education through Art is an English language journal that promotes relationships between art and education. The term 'art education' should be taken to include art, craft and design education. Each issue, published three times a year within a single volume, consists of peer-reviewed articles mainly in the form of research reports and critical essays, but may also include exhibition reviews and image-text features.

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