1st Edition

Lad Culture in Higher Education Sexism, Sexual Harassment and Violence

By Carolyn Jackson, Vanita Sundaram Copyright 2019
    162 Pages
    by Routledge

    162 Pages
    by Routledge

    Responding to increasing concerns about the harmful effects of so-called ‘lad culture’ in British universities, and related ‘bro’ and ‘frat’ cultures in US colleges, this book is the first to explore and analyse the perspectives of university staff on these cultures, which students suggest foster the normalisation of sexism, homophobia, racism, sexual harassment and violence.

    Drawing on in-depth interviews with a broad range of staff and faculty across different types of universities in England, the book explores the following key questions:

    • What is lad culture?
    • How and where is it manifest in higher education and what are the effects on students and staff?
    • How can ‘laddish’ behaviour be explained?
    • How can we theorise lad culture to enable us to better understand and challenge it?
    • How do dynamics in the United Kingdom compare to so-called ‘bro’ and ‘frat’ cultures in US colleges?

    By examining the ways in which lad culture is understood and explained, the authors illustrate that current understandings of lad culture obscure the broader processes through which problematic attitudes, practices, and educational climates are fostered. This analysis enables a theorisation of lad culture that makes visible the gendered norms and intersecting structural inequalities that underpin it.

    This timely and accessible volume will be of great interest to anyone looking to understand and tackle sexism, sexual harassment and violence in and beyond university contexts. It will be of particular significance to researchers, undergraduate and postgraduate students, academics, and policy makers in the fields of gender and sexuality in education, higher education, and sociology of education.



    Chapter 1: ‘Show us your tits and we’ll buy you shots’: Lad culture, sexual harassment and violence in higher education.

    Chapter 2: ‘But most of it’s banter’: What does lad culture look like in higher education in England?

    Chapter 3 – ‘They’re mainly public school, white boys’: Who are the lads?

    Chapter 4: ‘But they’re not really like that’: Explanations for laddism.

    Chapter 5: (Re)theorising and addressing lad culture.





    Carolyn Jackson is Professor of Gender and Education at Lancaster University, UK.

    Vanita Sundaram is Professor of Education at the University of York, UK.