Constructing MasculinityHow Three Grade Eight Boys Explore the Boundaries of MasculinityThrough Writing Toward a Bio-Cultural Theory of Reading and Learning

Amanda Stalwick


Over the last ten years, there has been much concern over the differential gender achievement patterns in English language arts on a local, national and international level. Boys under-achievement has captured the attention of the media, government, and policy personnel and though this phenomenon was identified a decade ago, differential achievement patterns persist today. At the root of this debate is the interplay between nature and nurture and we require a further socio-cultural understanding of this piece of the under-achievement puzzle. Based on three rural grade eight boys writing samples, the following examines how boys explore and define the boundaries of masculinity through their writing. I explain how the boys in this study explore masculinity through warrior discourse, character construction, intertextuality, and voice.

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