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From the front to the back of the classroom: masculinities and school engagement in the periphery of São Paulo

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Cinthia Torres Toledo
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Educação (FE/SBD)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Marilia Pinto de Carvalho; Maria Carla Corrochano; Mauricio Ernica; Gabriel de Santis Feltran; Fabiana Augusta Alves Jardim
Advisor: Marilia Pinto de Carvalho

This research aimed to investigate whether the collective notions of gender in the peer group were contrary to boys\' engagement at school. The research question was elaborated in dialogue with the literature on masculinities and school performance. It aimed to nuance the understanding of the social processes that culminate in a situation of disadvantage in the integral access to basic education among black and poor boys. Ethnographic research was carried out in an elementary public school, located on the periphery of São Paulo, considering the intersection between gender, race and class in a social context of the expansion of crime and police violence against peripheral boys in the city of São Paulo. Throughout the 2018 school year, I observed the students\' interactions in two classes of the 9th grade at different times and school spaces and interviewed students, teachers and a school manager. The empirical material was analyzed to understand the hierarchies and power relations between boys, who divided themselves between the front and back groups. These two groups established an oppositional and conflicted relationship in the daily life of the school. This analysis allows us to affirm that the school involvement of boys tended to be devalued by their peers. Masculinities practices contrary to school and that took crime as a positive reference tended to be valued among boys and girls. Finally, I argue that despite the students being divided into two groups of boys, front and back should not be treated analytically as two types of masculinity and relationship with the school. Front and back is a spectrum of masculinity practices among boys who negotiated plural forms of being in the world, faced with the structural inequalities that conditioned their lives and their schooling processes on the city periphery. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 17/23325-3 - School achievement, gender and race: the pupils agency at middle school
Grantee:Cinthia Torres Toledo
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate