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April 29, 2018 / C H Thompson

Male school subcultures

  • Hargreaves (1967) related the emergence of pupil subcultures to the processes of labelling and streaming within schools
  • Colin Lacey’s (1970) study of Hightown Grammar school also showed how streaming can lead to the creation of anti-school subcultures
  • Paul Willis (1997) in ‘Learning to Labour’ examined the effects of being placed in lower bands/streams.
  • Willis found working-class pupils rebelled against their being labelled as failures by acting the fool in lessons in order to enhance their status/self-esteem in ways other than academic ones
  • Note: though Willis adopted a Marxist approach he drew much from the interactionist perspective to compensate for the failings of the traditional Marxist model
  • Mac an Ghaill (1994) identified 3 working-class male subcultures:
  1. Academic Achievers – formed pro-school subcultures
  2. New Enterprisers – formed pro-school subcultures
  3. Macho Lads – formed antischool subcultures

Female school subcultures

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