Blatte betyder kompis: Om maskulinitet och språk i en högstadieskola
2007 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Blatte Means Friend : On Masculinity and Language in a Middle School (English)
This thesis deals with masculinity and language among a group of teenage boys. Based on a year’s fieldwork at a middle school in a Stockholm suburb, the study focuses on how language is used to “perform” masculinity and how the stereotype of the “immigrant youth” emerges in daily communication in school. Inspired by contemporary theoretical work on gender and performativity, the thesis argues that “immigrant youth” is a subject position that emerges through the intersection of two related kinds of phenomena: (a) what particular individuals do with language, and (b) the attitudes and practices about “immigrant young men” present in society and communicated in the school environment. There is an ongoing debate about how youths in multiethnic suburbs speak poor Swedish and use inappropriate language. This thesis takes a critical stance toward the essentializing and moralizing dimensions of that debate. It explores how discussions about “suburban youth slang” and “sexist language” contribute to stereotypes about “immigrant youth” that demonize young men from immigrant backgrounds, even as they subtly work to establish the superiority and desirability of middle-class ethnic Swedish culture and people. In addition, the study examines the way in which communicative practices in the school constantly refer to a particular masculine position that function as an “absent presence” in the construction of “immigrant male youth”, namely the “fag”. The omnipresent threat of the “fag” works in particular ways to construct both a normative Swedishness and a normative heterosexual masculinity. These stereotypes emerge as important boundaries for what should not be said or done in everyday school life. The role of different categorizations in school is examined, and a main finding is that there are no fixed meanings of words as “immigrant” or “blatte” (darkie/immigrant). The labels may be used in processes of exclusion, but they are also in order to establish social relations and friendships among boys.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Ordfront Förlag , 2007. , 319 p.
Masculinity, sexuality, ethnicity, language, performativity, normative Swedishness, heteronormativity
Research subject Education
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-6770ISBN: 978-91-7037-277-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-6770DiVA: diva2:197016
2007-06-01, hörsal 5, hus B, Universitetsvägen 10, Stockholm, 10:00
Börjesson, Mats, Professor
Westin, Charles, ProfessorKulick, Don, Professor