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Beyond Bad Dogs: Toward a Pedagogy of Engagement of Male Students

by Laker, Jason A.

Abstract (Summary)
As Student Affairs has developed as a profession, scholars and practitioners have identified deficiencies in classical identity development theory pertaining to women; gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, or trans-gendered people; people of color, people with disabilities; and other historically underrepresented identities. Further, the school of thought is that student development theory is primarily based on research subjects who are middle/upper-class Caucasian men and thus is applicable to this population primarily. Thus, newer scholarship has emerged to explain identity development in particular minority groups and women. This project argues that classical theory not only fails to capture salient developmental processes of marginalized groups, but in fact fails to capture elements of male identity development. While the theories are gendered male per se (due to the subjects studied), they are resonant with hegemonic (socially constructed and imposed) masculinity rather than an authentic human masculine identity. There are consequences to this for men and women. The Student Affairs field has established knowledge, values, and best practices, which is inculcated into new practitioners through the professional socialization process. The purpose of this constructivist inquiry was to examine this process, its underlying values and norms, and its effect on professionals’ conceptions of male students. Seventeen Residence Hall Directors with graduate degrees in Student Development or related disciplines were interviewed about their socialization into the field, thoughts about male students, and reactions to a case example depicting an incident on a college campus. Findings suggest a lack of theoretical or conceptual understanding of male gender identities, and consequently a difficulty in viewing male students developmentally. Moreover, without such understanding, new professionals’ conception of marginalized identities can unwittingly reify rather than interrupt stratification and privilege. 9
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School:The University of Arizona

School Location:USA - Arizona

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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