Given the profound influence that schools have on students’ genders and the existing scholarly research in the field of education studies which draws clear implications between practices of schooling and sanctioning and promoting particular gender subjectivities, often in alignment with traditional norms, I conduct a critical ethnography to examine the practices of gender in one eighth grade English language arts (ELA) classroom at an arts-missioned charter school. I do this to explore how ELA instruction at an arts charter school may provide opportunities for students to do gender differently. To guide this dissertation theoretically, I rely on the process philosophy of Erin Manning (2016, 2013, 2007) to examine the processual interactions among of student movement, choreography, materiality, research-creation, language, and art. Thus, methods for this study include field notes, student assignments, interviews and focus groups, student created art, maps, and architectural plans. In the analysis, I attempt to allow the data to live on their own, and I hope to give them voice to speak to the reader in a way that they spoke to me. Some of them speak through ethnodrama; some of them speak through autoethnography, visual art and cartography, and yet others through various transcriptions. Through these modes of analysis, I am thinking-doing-writing. The analysis also includes my thinking with fields – the fields of gender studies, qualitative inquiry, educational research, English education, and critical theory. In an attempt to take to the fields, I weave all of these through each other, through Manning and other theorists and through my ongoing perceptions of event-happenings and what it means to do qualitative research in education. Accordingly, this dissertation engages with the various fields to reconsider how school practices might conceive the ways in which they produce gender, and how students perceive gender within the school space. In this way, the dissertation provides ways of thinking that may unearth what was previously cast aside or uncover possibilities for what was previously unthought.
- (Re)considering Diverse Masculinities: Intersections amid Art Process and Middle School Boys Fracturing Masculinities