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Once upon a threshold: A narrative study of three men in their twenties and their experiences of violating the norms of a heteronormative school environment
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences. Pedagogik.
2016 (English)In: NERA 2016 Social Justice, Equality and Solidarity in Education: Book of Abstracts, 2016, 98-98 p.Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The school takes part in reproducing societal norms and values, something that is seen as a natural part of its culture-transferring mission. Some of these norms and values ​​can be explained by the queer theoretical concept of heteronormativity, which aims to elucidate the norms and structures that emphasize heterosexuality as normal, making other sexual orientations deviant. Discrimination of non-heterosexual people in school as a place has slowly decreased in recent years (Brottsförebyggande rådet, 2014). However, that does not mean that the discrimination has been reduced in school as an environment, yet instead it has found expression through new ways such as through the Internet and through telephone/texting. This study aims to elucidate the experiences of students who commit norm violations of heteronormativity and thus exposed to the risk of discrimination due to non-heterosexuality, this is to increase the understanding of students’ experiences of a heteronormative school environment.

The study was conducted through a narrative approach and narratives as method (Johansson, 2006). Three interviews were conducted with males identifying as non-heterosexuals. The theoretical framework that built the analysis consisted of the queer theoretical concept of heteronormativity as part of the environment and as an influencing factor in students ' socialization (Ambjörnsson, 2006). The students’ produces and reproduces norms about gender identity through socialization, making certain kinds of masculinity normal thus leads other masculinities to become deviant. The narratives have also been analyzed through Connell's (2008) concept of hegemonic masculinity, which intends to describe the power structures nature and function within and between different masculinities.

The result shows that discrimination does not need to depend on actual homosexuality but also even suspected, or materialized, homosexuality. The results also indicates something that I have chosen to call homo-hatred, where hatred is displayed by non- heterosexuals towards others who identify as or are suspected of being non-heterosexual, despite the own sexual orientation.It has been interpreted as them kicking sideways instead of kicking upwards within the power structures of masculinities, which may be a natural reaction for the students ‘survival’. Sports seem to function as a marker of heterosexuality, where the distinctions between masculinities are made visible and the violations of heteronormativity becomes tense. Conclusions drawn from these interpretations were that the consequences or meaning of norm violations may shift over time and doesn’t necessarily need to be negative for the student, even if they were perceived as negative when they occurred.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. 98-98 p.
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-21323OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-21323DiVA: diva2:912610
Conference
NERA 2016, Nordic Educational Research Association, 44th Congress, 9-11 March 2016, Helsinki, Finland
Available from: 2016-03-17 Created: 2016-03-16 Last updated: 2016-04-05Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard-cite-them-right
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • sv-SE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • de-DE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf