9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN33 Women's and Gender Studies

2009-09-04 13:30:00 2009-09-04 15:00:00 Friday, 4 September 13:30 - 15:00 The Social and Symbolic Construction of Gender Identities - Feminity and Masculinity Building II, C4.01

School dropouts and the social construction of masculinity

The relationships between school achievement and gender identities are relevant to be questioned when statistical data in different countries of Europe (including Portugal) confirm a higher school failure and a higher school dropout rates for boys, especially coming from groups with fewer economic resources or a cultural capital not recognized by the school. Gender and women's studies provide important contributions to this problem, since their concerns are for broader forms of inclusion and citizenship. Men's studies have also pointed out that feminist perspectives have had major impact on how the reconfiguration of affection and implementation of rights are central for extended forms of citizenship. There is nowadays a marginalized masculinity "that emerges from the articulation of gender with other structural conditions such as ethnicity or class", (Amâncio 2004:25) leading many boys to a disaffection from school, joining groups at social margins. An enlarged view of citizenship in a democratic society cannot be alien to the diversity and needs of individuals within it, and the right to education, as Marshall noted, is an unquestionable contribution to decent patterns of living.
Within the framework of a review of European contributions on the subject, the paper will present the outcomes from focus group discussions involving eighteen boys who have dropped-out from schooling the ways they give meaning and name their experiences on this issue and on how they position themselves concerning girls?school pathways.