On leadership and fitting in: dominant understandings of masculinities within an early primary peer group.
This paper argues the importance of examining the collective dimension of masculinities in the early school years through a description of a study into children's (young males') peer group relations. Specifically, the paper attends to the significance of the peer group in shaping behaviour, and in particular exaggerated 'masculine' behaviours, and illuminates the inadequacies of conventional teacher practices that individualise and pathologise group behaviours. The nature and dynamics of the peer group and the way these dynamics interact to form particular understandings of masculinity are illuminated through a snapshot of the study's data, presented as a narrative. Drawing on elements of group socialisation theory, within a post-structural foregrounding of socio-political relations of power, the contextuality and contingency of the young males' peer group behaviours are interpreted.
Australian Educational Researcher
Education not elsewhere classified