Journal article Open Access

The construction of 'tough' masculinity: Negotiation, alignment and rejection

Lawson, Robert

Drawing on narrative data collected during a three-year ethnography of a Scottish high school, this article examines the construction of working-class adolescent masculinities. More specifically, the analysis focuses on how adolescent male speakers negotiate, reject and align themselves with the hegemonically dominant ideology of 'tough' masculinity, the role socially low-risk discourses of 'tough' masculinity play in interaction, and how speakers integrate a range of discursive strategies which help maintain homosociality when 'tough' masculinity is at stake. I argue that discourses which appear to be about 'being tough' do a great deal more social work than might be expected.

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