Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Repertoires of Practice: Deployments of Masculinity

Victoria Carrington, Martin Mills.

In Australia, as in many other western industrialised societies, 'boys' have come to dominate the gender equity landscape in education. In the main, the direction of this debate has been steered by those articulating a 'poor boys' discourse. However, a number of feminist and profeminist engagements with this debate, whilst countering many of the simplistic claims made through such discourses, have argued that schools need to problematise dominant constructions of masculinity. We suggest in this paper that the work of Pierre Bourdieu can offer some insights to educators on ways to engage in such a problematisation. Bourdieu's sociological framing provides a number of conceptual apparatuses which allow us to unpack the ways in which various masculine performances are often strategic responses to the shifting power relations operating within different social fields. We also note how the success, or dividend, of these strategic responses is dependent upon the particular skills of men and boys to read and negotiate the expectations and demands of each of the social fields in which they live their lives. The paper demonstrates some of the ways in which schools can act as sites for deployments of a range of masculinities.


Victoria Carrington  (Australia)

The University of Queensland

Martin Mills  (Australia)

  • Bourdieu
  • Masculinities

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)