Advertisement

Transcendent Friendship: The Potential of Foucault’s Ascesis to Subvert School Gender Regimes and Facilitate Learning

  • James R. GilliganEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Queer Studies and Education book series (QSTED)

Abstract

Foucault’s theories regarding friendship (or philia), homosexual ascesis, and queer culture may be useful in reforming the institutional gender regimes that permeate academic environments, especially those of secondary schools, where hegemonic masculinity often establishes a hierarchy that affects power relationships, academic disciplines, and extracurricular activities. The epistemic value of friendship has the potential to counter these potent and oppressive school gender regimes that operate as an element of the hidden curriculum and dictate behavior ranging from the expression (and suppression) of emotion to pedagogical methods. A review of selected empirical research demonstrates the effects of implementing pedagogical and extracurricular strategies that promote friendship as a crucial component of culturally responsive curricula. Considered through a queer theoretical lens, Foucault’s complex theory of homosexual ascesis may be seen as a counternarrative to restrictive school gender regimes. It can provide a conceptual foundation for practical strategies that will fortify students’ knowledge, skills, and dispositions. Consequently, promoting friendship as both a pedagogical and social scaffold has the potential to deconstruct oppressive gender regimes, create more equitable and socially just academic environments, and cultivate enjoyable teaching and learning experiences that occur within collaborative, communal contexts.

Keywords

School gender regimes Hegemonic masculinity Philia Friendship Pedagogy Curriculum Extracurricular Happiness 

References

  1. Bazelon, E. (2013). Sticks and stones: Defeating the culture of bullying and rediscovering the power of character and empathy. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  2. Berrill, D. P., & Martino, W. (2002). “Pedophiles and deviants”: Exploring issues of sexuality, masculinity, and normalization in the lives of male teacher candidates. In R. M. Kissen (Ed.), Getting ready for Benjamin: Preparing teachers for sexual diversity in the classroom (pp. 59–69). Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  3. Carrigan, T., Connell, B., & Lee, J. (2004). Toward a new sociology of masculinity. In P. F. Murphy (Ed.), Feminism and masculinities (pp. 151–164). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Connell, R. W. (2000). The men and the boys. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  5. Foucault, M. (1985). The use of pleasure: Volume 2 of the history of sexuality (R. Hurley, Trans.). New York: Vintage.Google Scholar
  6. Foucault, M. (1986). The care of the self: Volume 3 of the history of sexuality (R. Hurley, Trans.). New York: Vintage.Google Scholar
  7. Foucault, M. (1990). The history of sexuality, volume I: An introduction (Trans. R. Hurley). New York: Vintage.Google Scholar
  8. Foucault, M. (1997). Friendship as a way of life. In P. Rabinow (Ed.), Ethics: Subjectivity and truth (pp. 135–140). New York: The New Press.Google Scholar
  9. Gard, M. (2002). What do we do in physical education? In R. M. Kissen (Ed.), Getting ready for Benjamin: Preparing teachers for sexual diversity in the classroom (pp. 43–58). Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  10. Haywood, C., & Mac an Ghaill, M. (1996). Schooling masculinities. In M. Mac an Ghaill (Ed.), Understanding masculinities: Social relations and cultural arenas (pp. 50–60). Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Haywood, C., & Mac an Ghaill, M. (2003). Men and masculinities: Theory, research and social practice. Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  12. hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to transgress: Education as the practice of freedom. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  13. James, W. B., & Mullen, C. A. (2002). Advocating for a social roles curriculum framework at the secondary school level. Educational Studies, 28(2), 193–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Johnston, P. H. (2012). Opening minds: Using language to change lives. Portland: Stenhouse.Google Scholar
  15. Khayatt, D. (2006). What’s to fear: Calling homophobia into question. McGill Journal of Education, 41(2), 133–144.Google Scholar
  16. Kieff, J. (2005/2006). Classroom idea-sparkers. Childhood Education, 82(2), 98K–98M.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kimmel, M. S. (2004). Masculinity as homophobia: Fear, shame, and silence in the construction of gender identity. In P. F. Murphy (Ed.), Feminism and masculinities (pp. 182–199). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Klein, J. (2012). The bully society: School shootings and the crisis of bullying in America’s schools. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Mac an Ghaill, M. (1994). The making of men: Masculinities, sexualities and schooling. Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Martino, W. J. (2008). Male teachers as role models: Addressing issues of masculinity, pedagogy and the re-masculinization of schooling. Curriculum Inquiry, 38(2), 189–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Marx, R. A., & Kettrey, H. H. (2016). Gay-straight alliances are associated with lower levels of school-based victimization of LGBTQ + youth: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 45, 1269–1282.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-016-0501-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mayo, J. B., Jr. (2013). Critical pedagogy enacted in the gay-straight alliance: New possibilities for a third space in teacher development. Educational Researcher, 42(5), 266–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. McNinch, J. (2007). Queering seduction: Eros and the erotic in the construction of gay teacher identity. The Journal of Men’s Studies, 15(2), 197–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. McPherran, M. L. (2010). Socrates, Plato, Erôs and liberal education. Oxford Review of Education, 36(5), 527–541.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Olson, P., & Gillman, L. (2013). Combating racialized and gendered ignorance: Theorizing a transactional pedagogy of friendship. Feminist Formations, 25(1), 59–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Philaretou, A. G., & Allen, K. R. (2001). Reconstructing masculinity and sexuality. The Journal of Men’s Studies, 9(3), 301–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Pinar, W. F. (2007). Punk’d. In N. M. Rodriguez & W. F. Pinar (Eds.), Queering straight teachers: Discourse and identity in education (pp. 155–182). New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  28. Rofes, E. (2000). Transgression and the situated body: Gender, sex, and the gay male teacher. In S. Talburt & S. R. Steinberg (Eds.), Thinking queer: Sexuality, culture, and education (pp. 131–150). New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  29. Sadowski, M. (2016). More than a safe space. Educational Leadership, 74(1), 33–36.Google Scholar
  30. Seidman, S. (1993). Identity and politics in a “postmodern” gay culture: Some historical and conceptual notes. In M. Warner (Ed.), Fear of a queer planet: Queer politics and social theory (pp. 105–142). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  31. Smagorinsky, P. (2008). Teaching English by design: How to create and carry out instructional units. Portsmouth: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  32. Smith, M. W., & Wilhelm, J. D. (2006). Going with the flow: How to engage boys (and girls) in their literacy learning. Portsmouth: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  33. Stephenson, A. (2011). How children’s collective interests influence their curriculum experiences: Developing relationships, differentiating by gender, and defying adults. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 36(4), 139–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Turkle, S. (2015). Reclaiming conversation: The power of talk in a digital age. New York: Penguin Press.Google Scholar
  35. Vavrus, M. (2009). Sexuality, schooling, and teacher identity formation: A critical pedagogy for teacher education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25, 383–390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. White, J. W., & Hungerford-Kresser, H. (2014). Character journaling through social networks: Exemplifying tenets of the new literacy studies. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 57(8), 642–654.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.San Francisco State UniversitySan FranciscoUSA

Personalised recommendations