Gender Play: Girls and Boys in Schoolsreviewed by Nancy Letts — 1994
Barrie Thorne's Gender Play: Girls and
Boys in School presents a provocative thesis. Thorne attempts to
disprove the popular notion that boys and girls have different
cultures and to provide us with an alternative view of gender. "As
individuals," she says, "we always display or `do' gender, but this
dichotomous difference may be more or less relevant, and relevant
in different ways, from one social context to another" (p. 29).
Thorne seeks to learn how gender separation and integration take
place. Her ethnographic study of gender in social situations
concentrates on the elementary school years, touching only breifly
on students' transition to adolescence.
Thoughout the book, Thorne never lets us forget her own voice.
Through a description of her fieldwork, we learn of her feelings of
aversion toward Beth, "a quiet fourth grader who continually asked
me to sit by her at lunch" (p. 24). Ultimately Thorne begins to
feel trapped by the clinging Beth, just as she had as a student
during her own elementary... (preview truncated at 150 words.) Title:
Gender Play: Girls and Boys in SchoolsAuthor(s):
Rutgers University Press, PiscatawayISBN:
1993Search for book at Amazon.com
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