Article thumbnail

The resources and strategies that 10-11 year-old boy use to construct masculinities in the school setting

By Jon Swain


The data in this paper comes from an ethnographic exploration into the construction of masculinities in three junior schools in the UK between 1998 and 1999. I argue that the construction and performance of masculinity is inextricably linked to the acquisition of status within the school peer group, and I delineate the specific series of resources and strategies that the boys draw on and use in each setting to achieve this. The different meanings and practices at each school, and the different array of resources available, means that there are a different set of options and/or opportunities within each school setting to do boy, and I classify these as being either open (possible), restricted (more difficult), or closed (almost impossible). The principal and most esteemed resource used by the boys was physicality and athleticism, and I highlight the link between masculinity and the body

Year: 2004
OAI identifier:

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.

Suggested articles


  1. (2002a) The Resources and strategies boys use to establish status in a junior school without competitive sport,
  2. (1963). [1922] The Sociology of Religion (translated by E. FISCHOFF), doi
  3. (2000). A passion for football': dominant masculinities and primary schooling,
  4. (1997). All they've got on their brains is football’: sport, masculinity and the gendered practices of playground relations,
  5. (2001). An ethnographic study into the construction of masculinity of 10-11 year old boys in three junior schools.
  6. (2000). An outline of a general sociology of the body, in:
  7. (1997). Black Masculinities and Schooling: how black boys survive modern schooling (Stoke-on-Trent,
  8. (2001). Bodies in school,
  9. (1996). Body-subject/body-power: agency, inscription and control in Foucault and
  10. (1993). Bullying at School: what we know and what we can do
  11. (2001). Challenging masculinities: disability and achievement in testing times,
  12. (1946). Class, status, and party, in:
  13. (2000). Coming Out': gender, (hetero)sexuality and the primary school,
  14. (1999). Cool boys', 'party animals', 'squids' and 'poofters': interrogating the dynamics and politics of adolescent masculinities in school,
  15. (1980). Cultural Contexts: making anthropology personal
  16. (1984). Distinction: a social critique of the judgment of taste
  17. (1991). Educating the body: physical capital and the production of social inequalities,
  18. (1998). Fantasy football league: boys learning to 'do boy' in a special (SEN) school classroom, in:
  19. (1987). Gender and Power: society, the person and sexual politics (Cambridge,
  20. (1993). Gender Play: girls and boys in school (New Brunswick,
  21. (1985). Gender relations in secondary schooling,
  22. (1999). Global sport: identities, societies, civilisations (Cambridge,
  23. (1976). Having a laugh: an antidote to schooling, in:
  24. (1989). Home Advantage: social class and parental intervention in elementary education (London,
  25. (1991). Is 'doing nothing' just boys’ play?: integrating feminist and cultural studies perspectives on working class young men's masculinity, in:
  26. (1997). Lads and laughter: humour and the production of heterosexual hierarchies,
  27. (1998). Lads, machos and others: developing ‘boy-centred’ research,
  28. (2001). Learning the ‘hard’ way: boys, hegemonic masculinity and the negotiation of learner identities in the primary school,
  29. (1996). Learning to be 'tough': the fostering of maleness in one primary school,
  30. (1977). Learning to Labour: how working class kids get working class jobs doi
  31. (1982). Making the Difference: schools, families and social division (Sydney, George Allen and Unwin).
  32. (1995). Masculinities (Cambridge,
  33. (2000). Masculinities at School
  34. (1997). Masculinity, violence and schooling: challenging poisonous pedagogies,
  35. (1999). Men Engaging Feminisms (Buckingham,
  36. (1977). Outline of a Theory of Practice,
  37. (1999). Parental Participation, Positioning and Pedagogy: a sociological study of the IMPACT primary school mathematics project, Unpublished
  38. (1998). Peer Power: preadolescent culture and identity (London,
  39. (1999). Presumed Innocence’: an ethnographic exploration into the construction of gender and sexual identities in the primary school, Unpublished PhD thesis
  40. (1997). Primary boys and hegemonic masculinities,
  41. (1998). Racism, Gender Identities and Young Children: social relations in a multi-ethnic, inner-city primary school
  42. (1995). School culture, school effectiveness and school improvement,
  43. (2001). Schooling the Boys: masculinities and primary education (Buckingham,
  44. (1986). Sexuality and gender in children's daily worlds,
  45. (1990). Sport in the social construction of masculinity', in:
  46. (1990). Sport, Men, and the Gender Order: critical feminist perspectives
  47. (1996). Sporting masculinities: gender relations and the body, in:
  48. (1994). Tackling Bullying in Your School
  49. (1996). Teaching the boys’: new research on masculinity and gender strategies for schools,
  50. (1993). The Body and Social Theory (London,
  51. (1996). The construction of masculinity within boys' physical education,
  52. (1986). The forms of capital,
  53. (1990). The Happiest Days? (London, Falmer). Name of school Type of school No. on roll [1] Social characteristics of intake
  54. (1978). The History of Manners: the civilising process, Volume I.
  55. (1994). The Making of Men: masculinities, sexualities and schoolin g(Buckingham,
  56. (2000). The Men and the Boys
  57. (2000). The money's good, the fame's good, the girls are good': the role of playground football in the construction of young boys' masculinity in a junior school,
  58. (1998). The Nurture Assumption: why children turn out the way they do
  59. (2002). The right stuff: fashioning an identity through clothing in a junior school,
  60. (1985). The Social World of the Primary School
  61. (1998). The Sociology of Mathematics Education: mathematical myths/pedagogic texts (London,
  62. (1992). Theorising violence in the discourse of masculinities,
  63. (1997). Who do these boys think they are? an investigation into the construction of masculinities in a primary classroom,
  64. (1979). Young children’s conceptions of status and role,