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'Boyz to men': Masculinities, schooling and labour transitions in de-industrial times

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Anoop NayakORCiD


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For working-class young men the transition to manhood was once inextricably linked to the movement from school to work. Today, with the widespread de-scaling of industry the relationship between masculinities, education and labour needs critical re-appraisal. The paper argues that emerging post-industrial masculinities cannot be fully understood through micro-institutional approaches that make school the sole focus of inquiry. Instead, contemporary school masculinities must also be situated in the intersecting pathways of family biography, history, locality and global transformations. This historically-informed ethnography investigates how and why a male school subculture should wish to preserve a 'Traditional' white working-class masculinity in changing times. Here, 'Local lads' were found to resist global change by accentuating pride of place and deploying the embodied grammar of manual labour. This modern 'Curriculum of the body', as exemplified through rituals of football-fandom, was found to give corporeal substance to an archetypal industrial masculinity and in so doing provided the illusion of stability in insecure times.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Nayak A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Educational Review

Year: 2003

Volume: 55

Issue: 2

Pages: 147-159

Print publication date: 01/06/2003

ISSN (print): 0013-1911

ISSN (electronic): 1465-3397

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/00131910303261


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