Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education




Dr. Wayne Martino

Second Advisor

Dr. Goli Rezi-Rashti


This thesis investigates the interplay of masculinities for a group of boys in one elementary school in south-western Ontario. It looks specifically at how these students negotiate and enact a dominant popular masculinity in response to a particular value system and regime that dictates gender hierarchies. The purpose of this study was to document, articulate, and construct knowledge and awareness about boys’ own understanding of the interplay of masculinities and peer group hierarchies at one particular site. Five Grade eight male students participated in semi-structured interviews providing insights into gender relations and peer group hierarchies and the nature ofhegemonic masculinity at this school. Findings indicate that male students construct and produce a form of dominant masculinity to which particular groups of male students subscribe. The research highlights that boys who engage in performances associated with hegemonic masculinity are able to gain dominance and power over other students and police appropriate male behaviour. This study confirms the usefulness of conducting locally based research in school communities in terms of its capacity to provide a more nuanced and complicated picture of masculinities than that afforded by populist accounts of the boys’ education crisis.



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