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Many versions of masculine : an exploration of boys' identity formation through digital storytelling in an afterschool program

journal contribution
posted on 2006-01-01, 00:00 authored by G Hull, Nora Kenney, S Marple, A Forsman-Schneider
Both scholarly literature and popular media often depict predominantly negative and one-dimensional images of boys, especially African-American boys. Predictions of these boys’ anticipated difficulties in school and adulthood are equally prevalent. This paper reports qualitative research that features case studies of nine urban boys of color, aged nine to eleven, who participated in an afterschool program where they learned to create digital multimedia texts. Drawing on an analysis of the children’s patterns of participation, their multimodal products, and their social and intellectual growth over time, the study revealed that these children demonstrated many versions of male selves, and that their digital stories narrated these identities in ways that often challenged hegemonic versions of masculinity. These enactments of identity were made possible by the ways that their afterschool social space structured their activities, as well as by the symbolic means and subject matters privileged in that space, principally digital multimodal narratives and popular culture. At a time when afterschool programs are under pressure to become extensions of the school day, this research argues for recognition of and support for the different functions such programs can serve when structured as alternative spaces for learning and identity formation.

History

Journal

The Robert Bowne Foundation : Occasional paper series

Volume

6

Season

Spring

Pagination

1 - 42

Publisher

The Robert Bowne Foundation

Location

New York, N. Y.

Language

eng

Publication classification

CN.1 Other journal article

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