"Rednecks," "rutters," and 'rithmetic: Social class, masculinity, and schooling in a rural context

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Abstract

Research with predominately minority, urban students has documented an educational "gender gap," where girls tend to be more likely to go to college, make higher grades, and aspire to higher status occupations than boys. We know less, however, about inequality, gender, and schooling in rural contexts. Does a similar gap emerge among the rural poor? How does gender shape the educational experiences of rural students? This article explores these questions by drawing on participant observation and student interviews at a predominately white and low-income rural high school. I find a substantial gap favoring girls in this context, and I analyze how understandings of masculinity shaped schooling using the theory of hegemonic masculinity. The findings suggest that boys' underachievement is actually rooted in masculine dominance and related to particular constructions of gender and social class.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)728-751
Number of pages24
JournalGender and Society
Volume22
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2008

Keywords

  • Education
  • Gender gap
  • Masculinity
  • Rural

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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