Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy




Dr Wayne J Martino

2nd Supervisor

Goli Rezai Rashti

Joint Supervisor


This thesis investigates the interplay of masculinity and schooling in postcolonial rural Zimbabwe, which has been affected by both local influences that have antecedents in colonization and by the external, current forces of globalization.

By focusing on the construction of masculinities, this study contributes to a deeper understanding of the complicated relations between boys, girls and implications on schooling. This is significant because much research on gender in Zimbabwe has excluded boys’ experiences and how they are implicated in unequal and unjust gender relations.

A partial ethnographic study methodology was employed and in-depth interviews, informal conversations and observations with ten purposefully selected students were conducted.

From the analysis and discussion of findings using Connell’s multiple masculinities conceptual lens it was evident that traditional notions of masculinity were negotiated through the school’s gender regimes of practical curriculum and corporal punishment which created unequal gender relations. Possibilities of alternative masculinities that could foster healthy gender relations were also observed.

The study is significant in contributing knowledge and insights into school gender regimes and relations that impact on students’ experiences and the political significance of gender instability in institutional settings.

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