Presentation Details

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

The Literate Selves: Reading or Misreading the Textuality of High School Boys

Dr. Michael Kehler, Christopher Greig.

Grounded in feminism and pro-feminism the authors bridge past research in gender and education with literacy education. The authors examine the restrictive ways in which normative masculinity is operationalized within and through a set of provincial polices that address “underachieving boys”. By exploring unidimensional conceptions of masculinity, schooling, and social literacy skills, the authors extend the research and debate by identifying a plurality of masculinities and textualities through which boys read well, namely that of their own embodied selves “doing” boy (see Butler, 1990) and those texts which they resist. (see Connell, 2000; Frank et al., 2003; Martino & Meyenn, 2001) They conclude by suggesting possibilities for resisting and rethinking current conceptual and practical responses to masculinities and literacies in schools.
The authors draw on data that marries policy initiatives with the voices of four high school men who define what it means to be a boy and the ways that literacies are taken up through daily school experiences. Drawing on an ethnographic study that shadows the daily lives of four high school men along with a recent study of school policy and literacy practices, the authors provide an interpretive analysis of both polices and the school experiences. The data is grounded in structured and unstructured interviews, field observations, reading strategies, and reading-literacy policy documents.


Dr. Michael Kehler  (Canada)
Assistant Professor
Faculty of Education
University of Western Ontario

Michael Kehler is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Western Ontario. He teaches graduate courses in theories of gender and schooling in addition to teaching English education in the pre-service program. . His research interests include the counter-hegemonic practices of high school young men, literacy and masculinity, and the ongoing negotiations involved for young men resisting heteronormativity. He recently completed research that examined conceptions of masculinities and femininities emerging out of conversations with women vice-principals in Ontario, Canada.

Christopher Greig  (Canada)

  • Masculinities
  • Literacy practices
  • Provincial reading policies
  • Identity politics

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)