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School of Applied Social Sciences

SASS Staff

Publication details for Dr Mark McCormack

McCormack, M. (2011). Hierarchy without hegemony: Locating boys in an inclusive school setting. Sociological Perspectives 54(1): 83-101.

Author(s) from Durham


In this article, the author details how 16–18-year-old boys ascribe to the tenets of inclusive masculinity in a U.K. secondary school that the author calls "Standard High." Drawing on five months of participant observation and twelve in-depth interviews, this article demonstrates that the boys' masculinities are predicated in opposition to the orthodox values of homophobia, misogyny, and aggressiveness. Accordingly, the practices of subordination and marginalization described in hegemonic masculinity theory are not used to regulate masculine behaviors or obtain dominance in this setting. At Standard High, boys ascribing to different masculine archetypes can each maintain high social status. Nonetheless, a social hierarchy still exists. Here, boys are stratified in accordance to a popularity ranking, which is determined by the possession of a matrix of variables: namely, charisma, authenticity, emotional support, and social fluidity.