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Bad Boys: Public Schools in the Making of Black Masculinity

reviewed by Sandra Stein - 2002

coverTitle: Bad Boys: Public Schools in the Making of Black Masculinity
Author(s): Ann Arnett Ferguson
Publisher: University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor
ISBN: 0472111035, Pages: 236 , Year: 2000
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  Most educators and scholars agree that in order for meaningful teaching and learning to occur, schools need to be safe and orderly environments. However, in a society where the constructs of race, gender, age and class shape interpretations of behavior, the maintenance of an orderly school environment can interfere with the educational possibilities of certain groups of students. Bad Boys, Ann Arnett Ferguson’s provocative study of a west-coast elementary school, uncovers how daily school routines and practices construct Black masculinity as an oppositional social identity in need of discipline, punishment, and control. Such a construction impedes the educational opportunities made available to African American males. Through participant observation, interviews and conversations, Ferguson exposes the daily routines of schooling that contribute to the disproportionate number of Black boys who are labeled as "troublemakers" and sent to sanctioned school spaces for punishment. Peppered with incisive rap lyrics, one mother’s powerful testimony, and the author’s own personal reflections, the book looks at both the structures and individual meanings of punishment in school.... (preview truncated at 150 words.)

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 104 Number 1, 2002, p. 109-136
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10677, Date Accessed: 5/12/2021 8:50:05 PM

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About the Author
  • Sandra Stein
    Baruch College School of Public Affairs
    E-mail Author
    Sandra Stein is assistant professor at Baruch College School of Public Affairs. Her research interests include cultural studies of education policies, educational leadership, and youth representations through art and technology. Recent publications include "'These are your Title I students': Policy language in educational practice" in Policy Sciences, and "Opportunity to Learn as a policy outcome measure" in Studies in Educational Evaluation.
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