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Misreading Masculinity: Boys, Literacy, and Popular Culture / Edition 1

Misreading Masculinity: Boys, Literacy, and Popular Culture / Edition 1

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Post-Columbine has been a time when the issues of popular culture and the behavior of boys have generated more heat than light. This complex, contested intersection has led to censorship and worse-alarm, irrationality, and a failure to examine our ways of teaching, particularly teaching literacy to boys. In this book Tom Newkirk takes an up-close and personal look at elementary boys and their relationship to sports, movies, video games, and other venues of popular culture. Unlike the alarmists, he sees these media not as enemies of literacy, but as resources for literacy.

Through a series of extraordinary interviews, Newkirk listens to young boys, and girls, who describe the pleasure they take in popular culture. They explain the ways in which they use visual narratives in their writing. They even defend their use of violence in their work. Newkirk disproves the simplistic stereotype of boys who are primed to imitate the violence they see. He shows that, rather than mimic, boys most often transform, recombine, and participate in story lines, and resist, mock, and discern the unreality of icons of popular culture.

Using a mixture of memoir, research project, cultural analysis, and critique of published findings, Newkirk encourages schools to ask questions about what counts as literacy in boys and what doesn't, to allow in their literacy programs boys' diverse tastes, values, and learning styles. In other words, if we want boys to join "the literacy club," then we have to invite them in with genres of their own choosing.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780325004457
Publisher: Heinemann
Publication date: 08/09/2002
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 1,158,787
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.47(d)
Age Range: 8 - 13 Years

About the Author

Thomas Newkirk is the author of numerous Heinemann titles, including Minds Made for Stories, The Art of Slow Reading, The Performance of Self in Student Writing (winner of the NCTE's David H. Russell Award), and Misreading Masculinity. For almost three decades, Tom taught writing at the University of New Hampshire where he founded the New Hampshire Literacy Institutes, a summer program for teachers. In addition to working as a teacher, writer, and editor, he has served as the chair of his local school board.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Believing Game

The "Crisis" in Boyhood

Making Sense of the Gender Gap

The Case Against Literacy

Taste and Distaste

Violence and Innocence

Misreading Violence

Making Way for Captain Underpants

A Big Enough Room

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Misreading Masculinity: Boys, Literacy, and Popular Culture 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
jckeen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although I tagged this book as one that boy's will enjoy, it is really for the teacher looking for an understanding of what draws boys to reading. Thomas Newkirk's misreading masculinity is a great resource that explores how boys see the world. It offers insight into opening up literacy learning to include graphic novels, popular culture, television, and even video games. Boys typically see reading as a feminine activity. They also would much rather spend their time in other activities such as sports. Understanding what types of literature will attract boys is a necessary element to getting them to read. This is a must read for teachers of language arts.
delzey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
if you want to understand boys, if you want to understand your sons, if you want to understand you husbands and brothers, if you want to know why boys (and men) have problems with reading and literacy, check this out.