Adapting, Disrupting, and Resisting: How Middle School Black Males Position Themselves in Response to Racialization in School
Keywords:Black, African Canadians, Boys, Middle-School, Equity, Stereotyping, Positioning Theory, Critical Race Theory CRT
Studies of Black students’ schooling experiences and educational outcomes have consistently shown that compared to their peers, they – especially males – tend to underperform academically, be more athletically engaged, and be streamed into non-academic educational programs. These studies tend to focus on high school students, but what of middle school students: is the situation any different? Using a combination of critical race theory and positioning theory, this article presents the results of a 2018 focus group of middle school male students residing in an outer suburb of the Greater Toronto Area. The findings reveal how the nine participants positioned themselves, and were positioned by their teachers, for an education that would enable them to enter high school and become academically successful. Some participants felt that teachers had constructs of them as underperformers, athletes, and troublemakers; others believed teachers saw them as ‘regular students’ and treated them accordingly by supporting their academic and extracurricular activities. How these students read educators’ perceptions of them informed their positioning responses: some adjusted and others resisted. Our findings highlight the urgent need to support Black students in culturally relevant ways during the transition schooling years so that they enter high school ready to meet the social, academic, and pedagogical challenges they will face, graduate, and realize their post high school ambitions.
Copyright (c) 2019 Canadian Journal of Sociology
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
1. The CJS will perform the usual functions of copy-editing on the article. The Author(s) will be given an opportunity to read and correct proofs, but if they fail to return them by the date set on the proofs, production and publication may proceed without the Author(s)'s approval of proofs.
2. The CJS will publish this article pursuant to this contract at its cost. CJS has the exclusive right to determine how the article will appear in the journal and elsewhere.
3. The Author(s) warrant that permission to publish the article has not been previously assigned elsewhere. The Author(s) further warrant that the contribution is original to them, except for any copyrighted material of others incorporated in it, and that the Author(s) will advise us of any material, either text or illustration, the rights for which are controlled by others. Where necessary, the Author(s) will obtain, before publication and at their expense, permission in writing from the owner of the copyright in that material for publication by us. Copies of any such permission must be submitted to CJS for our files.
4. The Author(s) further warrant that the article contains no defamatory or otherwise unlawful matter and that it makes no improper invasion of the privacy or personal rights of anyone. The Author(s) undertake that all statements in it purporting to be facts are true; and that they will advise us of any statements that might be construed as defamatory or otherwise unlawful. We may require substantive revision of the manuscript to avoid including material that may infringe rights or be defamatory or otherwise unlawful. 5. In the unlikely event of any claim, action, or proceeding based on an alleged violation of any of these warranties, we shall have the right to defend the same through counsel of our own choosing. The Author(s) agree to pay all resulting costs and damages, except that this indemnity shall not apply to any changes in the manuscript by us that were not approved by the Author(s) in advance of publication, or to any material that the Authors had warned us in advance of publication might be construed as defamatory or otherwise unlawful.
6. In order to protect both Author(s) and CJS from unauthorized use of the article, the Author(s) agree to refer to us any subsequent requests to publish it or a substantial portion thereof. If we choose to grant any such request, we will normally exact a standard fee for reprinting, the amount of this fee to be fixed by us from time to time; this fee will be divided equally with Author(s). We will accede to any request by the Author(s) to use part or all of their article in a article published under either Author(s)’s exclusive authorship or editorship, provided that acknowledgment of its first appearance is made in a manner approved by CJS, and in such cases no fee for reprinting shall be payable to us.
7. Subject to the above conditions, and in consideration of CJS undertaking to subsidize costs of publication of the article, the Author(s) assign to CJS the exclusive world rights to the article in its present, or substantially its present, form, and the parties hereto agree upon the foregoing terms for themselves and their respective executors, administrators, assigns, or successors. The Author(s) herby waive any claim for royalties and reprint fees arising from the use of their article. CJS hereby obtains the right to use the article in any future publication, including, but not limited to, publication in electronic media, issued under its auspices and to authorize others, including reproduction rights organizations such as CanCopy, to do the same.