Inclusive Masculinities in a Working-Class Sixth Form in Northeast England

Callum Blanchard, Mark McCormack*, Grant Peterson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research examines the construction of masculinity among a group of working-class boys aged sixteen to nineteen in the northeast of England. Drawing on data collected from a six-week ethnography with boys in a religious (Christian) sixth form college, this study documents how only a small minority of these boys embodied the orthodox archetype of masculinity that has traditionally been associated with working-class youth. Instead, the great majority of participants adopted attitudes and behaviors that can be categorized as a set of inclusive masculinities: They espoused positive attitudes toward homosexuality, engaged in physical tactility and emotional intimacy, and used homosexually themed language without the intent to wound or marginalize other boys. These findings pose a considerable challenge to dominant narratives on working-class masculinities; narratives that must now be reconfigured to account for the proliferation of inclusive masculinities among working-class youth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-333
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Contemporary Ethnography
Issue number3
Early online date16 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • class
  • education
  • homophobia
  • inclusivity
  • men


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