All lads together? Racism, masculinity and multicultural/anti-racist strategies in a primary school

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21 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the articulation of racism and masculinity as manifest amongst infant children in a multi-ethnic, inner-city primary school. Drawing upon a year-long ethnographic study of the school, it will highlight some of the inherent problems of multicultural/anti-racist strategies which are not sufficiently grounded in an understanding of racism and how iti complexly interrelates with other systems of inequality, in this case gender. The article will show how many of the racist incidents and processes evident amongst the infant children can only be understood within the context of their expressions of masculinity. With this as a starting point, the article will go on to outline and assess one particular strategy of the school to try and engage older African/Caribbean boys through sports and particularly football. It will be shown how, as a result of this 'multicultural/anti-racist' strategy, a distinct masculine ethos has been created within the school which, ironically, provides a strong context for racist incidents to flourish. The article will conclude by arguing for a more complex and context-specific understanding of racism and will reiterate the concerns of a number of black feminist writers of the early 1980s that strategies to combat racism can only be successful alongside strategies addressing all forms of subordination.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-211
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Studies in Sociology of Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1994


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