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Schooling, normalisation, and gendered bodies : adolescent boys' and girls' experiences of gender and schooling
chapterposted on 2007-01-01, 00:00 authored by W Martino, Maria Pallotta-ChiarolliMaria Pallotta-Chiarolli
Dominant discourses construct boys and girls as two homogenous groups in need of particular, and uniform, kinds of interventions (Martino, Mills, & Lingard, 2005, Mills, Martino, & Lingard, 2004; Jones & Myhill, 2004). The boys and girls themselves, however, tell a much more complex story and challenge us to consider very different implications for addressing gender conformity and, more broadly, diversity in schools. In this chapter, the voices of students are used as text to explicate, first, how issues of gender, sexuality, social class, ethnicity and the body are implicated and interweave in girls’ and boys’ social experiences of schooling; and second, what the implications of this interweaving might be for addressing diversity in schools (Connell, 1995; 2002; Martino, 1999, 2000; Pallotta-Chiarolli, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2005). This work draws on and elaborates further our previous published research that investigates issues of gender and schooling. It locates such research within the broader international context of studies conducted into issues of gender and schooling that document student perspectives and voice (Fine & Weiss, 2003; Ferguson, 2001; Renold, 2003; Mac an Ghaill, 1994; Lees, 1993; Ornstein, 1995; Thorne, 1993; Mills, 2001; Hey, 1997; Willis,1977; Walker, 1988). The use of student voice as text is considered within that broader context and highlights the significance of gender regimes and power relations in students’ lives at school (Martino & Pallotta-Chiarolli, 2005; 2003; 2002; 2001; Pallotta-Chiarolli, 1998). We illustrate the extent to which the risky business of ‘fitting in’ involves negotiations around normative and transgressive masculinities and femininities and how such practices intersect with sexuality, race/culture, class, and geographical location (see James, 2003; Kumashiro, 2002).