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Dude, You're a Fag

Dude, You're a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School

C. J. Pascoe
Copyright Date: 2007
Edition: 1
Pages: 240
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  • Book Info
    Dude, You're a Fag
    Book Description:

    High school and the difficult terrain of sexuality and gender identity are brilliantly explored in this smart, incisive ethnography. Based on eighteen months of fieldwork in a racially diverse working-class high school,Dude, You're a Fagsheds new light on masculinity both as a field of meaning and as a set of social practices. C. J. Pascoe's unorthodox approach analyzes masculinity as not only a gendered process but also a sexual one. She demonstrates how the "specter of the fag" becomes a disciplinary mechanism for regulating heterosexual as well as homosexual boys and how the "fag discourse" is as much tied to gender as it is to sexuality.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-94104-5
    Subjects: Sociology, Anthropology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. CHAPTER ONE Making Masculinity: Adolescence, Identity, and High School
    (pp. 1-24)

    Cheering students filled River High’s gymnasium. Packed tightly in the bleachers, they sang, hollered, and danced to loud hip-hop music. Over their heads hung banners celebrating fifty years of River High’s sports victories. The yearly assembly in which the student body voted for the most popular senior boy in the school to be crowned Mr. Cougar was under way, featuring six candidates performing a series of skits to earn student votes.

    Two candidates, Brent and Greg, both handsome, blond, “all-American” water polo players, entered the stage dressed like “nerds” to perform their skit, “Revenge of the Nerds.” They wore matching...

  5. CHAPTER TWO Becoming Mr. Cougar: Institutionalizing Heterosexuality and Masculinity at River High
    (pp. 25-51)

    Before Brent and Greg took the stage to perform their “Revenge of the Nerds” sketch, they, like the other Mr. Cougar candidates, paraded around the gym while students cheered in what looked a lot like a marriage ceremony. As Brent’s name was announced, a female student emerged from the back of the gym holding up a poster board sign decorated with his name and his water polo number. Behind her, Brent, dressed in a tuxedo and flanked by his mother and a formally attired female escort, stepped out into the auditorium of raucous students. The quartet proceeded around the gym,...

  6. CHAPTER THREE Dude, You’re a Fag: Adolescent Male Homophobia
    (pp. 52-83)

    The sun shone bright and clear over River High’s annual Creative and Performing Arts Happening, or CAPA. During CAPA the school’s various art programs displayed students’ work in a fairlike atmosphere. The front quad sported student-generated computer programs. Colorful and ornate chalk art covered the cement sidewalks. Tables lined with studentcrafted pottery were set up on the grass. Tall displays of students’ paintings divided the rear quad. To the left of the paintings a television blared student-directed music videos. At the rear of the back quad, a square, roped-off area of cement served as a makeshift stage for drama, choir,...

  7. CHAPTER FOUR Compulsive Heterosexuality: Masculinity and Dominance
    (pp. 84-114)

    The weight room, a freestanding module by the football field, stank with a familiar musty smell of old sweat, metal, and rubber. Colorful diagrams of deltoids, biceps, quads, and other muscle groups adorned the walls. Each day Coach Ramirez, a gentle, soft-spoken man, called roll and told the (mostly male) students to run a lap or two as he entered the module to place his folders in his office and turn on the stereo. After running their laps, the sweaty boys filed in as loud hip-hop music blared from the stereo. Dressed in regulation black gym shorts and T-shirts, boys...

  8. CHAPTER FIVE Look at My Masculinity! Girls Who Act Like Boys
    (pp. 115-155)

    “Girls can be masculine too, you know,” Genevieve pointed out to me when I told her I was writing a book on teenage boys and masculinity. Indeed, Genevieve had a point: girlscanbe masculine. At River High several girls identified themselves and were named by other students (both girls and boys) as masculine or as “girls who act like guys.” They dressed, talked, and carried themselves in many ways “like guys.” None of their peers identified them as actual boys. In other words, these girls weren’t trying to “pass” as male, nor did students refer to them as “tomboys,”...

  9. CHAPTER SIX Conclusion: Thinking about Schooling, Gender, and Sexuality
    (pp. 156-174)

    Walking through the bustling hallways at River High, watching letterman jacket–clad students rush past, and listening to the morning announcements, I often felt as if I had stepped into a filmic representation of the archetypal American high school. Teachers, students, and administrators let me know I wasn’t alone in this perception of River High, as they spoke proudly of “tradition” and “Cougar Pride.” They demonstrated this pride through their energetic investments in school rituals of homecoming, Mr. Cougar, prom, sports games, and assemblies. This sense of normality rendered River High a particularly helpful case with which to think through...

  10. APPENDIX: WHAT IF A GUY HITS ON YOU? Intersections of Gender, Sexuality, and Age in Fieldwork with Adolescents
    (pp. 175-194)
  11. NOTES
    (pp. 195-200)
    (pp. 201-214)
  13. INDEX
    (pp. 215-227)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 228-228)