Being boys, being girls : learning masculinities and by Carrie Paechter

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By Carrie Paechter

Explores how girls and boys examine what it's to be female and male. Drawing on a variety of reports from worldwide, this ebook examines how masculinities and femininities are built and understood through young children and youth in households, in faculties, and during interplay with their friends. advent -- intercourse and gender, energy and data -- Masculinities and femininities as groups of perform -- studying masculinities and femininities from mom and dad, carers, and siblings -- Masculinities and femininities in early years study rooms -- girls and boys in basic faculties -- Play and kid's peer teams: developing masculinities and femininities in open air areas -- Masculinities and femininities in secondary faculties -- Being and changing into: studying masculinities and femininities in teenage groups of perform -- end

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Additional resources for Being boys, being girls : learning masculinities and femininities

Example text

Legitimate membership does not necessarily imply full membership, nor full participation rights, as is clear, for example, when we consider the position of child members of local communities of adult masculinity or femininity. They are allowed to participate up to a point, and to understand themselves as future full members of these communities, but their position is both peripheral and subordinate. Being able to claim legitimacy for one's participation in a community of masculinity or femininity practice is highly important, because it gives access to symbolic and material goods.

In response to this naming and positioning, particular forms of behaviour are expected from that child, and are elicited in various ways, including praising or emphasizing some forms of behaviour and ignoring or criticizing others (Stern 1991; Ruble and Martin 1998; Paechter 1999). In the majority of cases, designation of a baby as male or female takes place through a brief examination of the genitals. When a baby is intersex, however, the procedure is somewhat different. Intersex babies are usually sooner or later designated as male or female, as most societies, with a few notable exceptions (Fausto-Sterling 1993; Paechter 1998), find it hard to countenance the possibility that anyone might be classified outside this binary.

The latter can be very painful, particularly for children and adolescents, for whom belonging is very important (Head 1997). 36 BEING BOYS, BEING GIRLS Boundary maintenance Wenger (1998) argues that practice is a source of coherence for a community: it brings the community together around what the individuals recognize themselves as sharing. Because of this, there have to be boundaries between what is part of group practice and what is not. If these boundaries are too broadly drawn or too fluid, the community will lose coherence, and members will start to feel uncertain about their membership and how it relates to identity.

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