AbstractThis thesis examines the experience of pupils negotiating their early adolescence within their secondary schools. Specifically, the focus is upon sexual bullying; the sexualized hostility and interpersonal conflict within the peer-subculture. The research adopts an ethnographic method, interviewing and observing pupils within the schools over a five year period. The existing research on bullying in schools is criticized for its concentration on psychologistical variables of deviancy within individual children at the expense of political and cultural factors. An attempt is made by this study to reproblematise the current theories on bullying in schools, and reconceptualise the phenomena of bullying in terms of gender and cultural studies. From this perspective, a continuum of oppressive behaviors can be seen in operation, with homophobia and misogyny implicated in the practices and processes of pupils’ construction of sexual and gender identities. The extent of the effects of these practices upon general social relations in school are discussed, and the dynamic relationship between the subcultural value systems and official organisation of the school is explored. The schools’ formal structures of discipline and control of large numbers of maturing young people are analysed in terms of their unintended consequences. An examination is made of the schools’ official discourses on competition and normality, and of the adoption, distortion and intensification of those discourses by the pupils within their own value system of personal reputation. The study then analyses their effects on the forms of gender policing carried out by the subculture.
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/