Masculinity and Aspiration in an Era of Neoliberal Education
This collection investigates the ways in which boys and young men negotiate neoliberal discourse surrounding aspiration and how neoliberalism shapes their identities. Expanding the field of masculinity studies in education, the contributors offer international comparisons of different subgroups of boys and young men in primary, secondary and university settings. A cross-sectional analysis of race, gender, and class theory is employed to illuminate the role of aspiration in shaping boys’ identities, which adds nuance to their complex "identity work" in neoliberal times.
Table of Contents
Introduction Garth Stahl, Joseph Derrick Nelson, Derron O. Wallace Part I 1. Policy Logics, Counter-Narratives, and New Directions: Boys and Schooling in a Neoliberal Age Konstanze Spohrer and Garth Stahl Part II 2. Aspiration Anxieties: Developing Middle-Class Manhood among Black African Boys in London Derron O. Wallace 3. White Working-Class Boys in the Neoliberal Meritocracy: The Pitfalls of the "Aspiration-Raising" Agenda Sam Baars 4. "I’m Not Just One Type of Person": Aspirational Working-Class Belfast Boys and Complex Embodied Performances of Educationally Successful Masculinities Nicola Ingram 5. Coming of Age through the Recession: High School Imaginings of Post-Recession Futures in New York City Patrick Alexander 6. "I want to be a soccer player or a mathematician:" Fifth-grade Black boys' aspirations at a "neoliberal" single-sex school Joseph Derrick Nelson 7. ‘Without my education I can’t be somebody’: Latino Masculinity, School Contexts and Aspiration Mellie Torres 8. (Re)masculinizing "Suzhi Jiaoyu" (Education for Quality): Aspirational Values of Modernity in Neoliberal China Xiaodong Lin and Máirtín Mac an Ghaill 9. ‘Gotta get that laziness out of me’: Negotiating Masculine Aspirational Subjectivities in the Transition from School to University in Australia Sue Nichols and Garth Stahl Part III 10. The Neoliberal Masculine Logic: Skilled Migration, International Students, and the Indian "Other" in Australia Michiel Baas Conclusion: Masculinity and Aspiration in the Era of Neoliberal Education: International Perspectives Garth Stahl, Joseph Derrick Nelson, and Derron Wallace
Garth Stahl is a Lecturer and Researcher in Literacy Education and Sociology at the University of Australia, Australia.
Joseph Nelson is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Educational Studies at Swarthmore College, USA, and a Senior Research Fellow with the Center for the Study of Boys’ and Girls’ Lives at the University of Pennsylvania, USA.
Derron Wallace is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Education at Brandeis University, USA.
"This book makes an invaluable contribution to theorising and analysing the ways in which masculinities and aspirations can only be understood by theorising neoliberal contexts. Readers will undoubtedly deepen their understandings of particular country contexts and be convinced that gender and education can most fruitfully be analysed by viewing them within the neoliberal international ‘youthscapes’ in which they are constituted. This fascinating collection will be invaluable to all those interested in new ways of understanding boys, masculinities and education. It deserves to be widely read."
-Ann Phoenix, Professor of Education, Institute of Education, University of London
"In this edited volume, all contributions are sharply focused on the core issue of how neoliberalism acts as a force to produce and restrain young men's possibilities and aspirations, and each give the reader something different to think about through the array of issues, contexts and subject positions being discussed.
Stahl, Nelson, and Wallace have brought together a genuinely coherent collection of chapters and combine this with scholarly authority and excellence from their introduction right through to the last page. This is an important and very welcome addition to the field."
-Steven Roberts, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Monash University, Australia
"In this fascinating book, Stahl, Nelson, and Wallace bring together various researchers to examine the webs of entanglement and imbrication that make up the relationships between masculinity and aspiration at a time when high unemployment and precarious, low-paid work dominate the global labour market. Succinctly written and empirically rich in detail, the book captures the 'identity work' shaping the situated practices of young men and boys as they navigate the various insecurities, injunctions and opportunities to emerge from the political-economic project known as neoliberalism. The book is a must-read for teachers and researchers interested in contemporary debates and theorising on issues of masculine identity and neoliberal discourse."
-Andrew Wilkins, Reader in Education and Governance, University of East London, UK
"In this important new book, the authors explore the various forces changing men's lives and redefining the way masculinity has historically been constructed. Insightful and rich with detailed analysis, this book will be an invaluable resource to scholars and students for years to come."
--Pedro A. Noguera, Distinguished Professor of Education, University of California – Los Angeles
"It has become commonplace to recognise that neoliberalism is a powerful and pervasive global context. It is rare, however, for texts to go beyond simply naming it to show the complex ways in which it is woven into everyday negotiations of social life. This book makes an invaluable contribution to theorising and analysing the ways in which masculinities and aspirations can only be understood by theorising neoliberal contexts. By focusing on four countries (Australia, China, UK and the USA), the book illuminates the ways in which neoliberal subjectivities are negotiated and shows the multiple ways in which these intersect with gender, social class, racialisation and nation. Readers will undoubtedly deepen their understandings of particular country contexts and be convinced that gender and education can most fruitfully be analysed by viewing them within the neoliberal international ‘youthscapes’ in which they are constituted. This fascinating collection will be invaluable to all those interested in new ways of understanding boys, masculinities and education. It deserves to be widely read."
--Michael C. Reichert, Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Boys' and Girls' Lives and Professor of Education, University of Pennsylvania, USA
"Masculinity and Aspiration enhances our understanding of aspiration, masculinity, and neoliberalism as both individual and intersecting concepts... it will be a useful resource for students and scholars moving forward."
-- Brittany Ralph, Sociological Research Online