Masculinity In The Lads

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from the 'ear'oles' was continuously expressed by 'the lads' through the whole ambience of their behaviour.'

By partaking in this oppositional culture, the lads reinforced the ideological division between mental and manual labor, rejecting the mental in favour of physical work. Yet this affirmation was not due to a passive acceptance of their place in society; for the lads, manual work signified their masculine power and superiority, requiring far more physical challenge and awareness of the concrete existence which surrounds their lives, than 'pen-pushing' (Gorden, 1984). A counter school culture and manual work served as the primary source of the lads' identities. Therefore, in their eyes, the fact that they did not share the same linguistic and cultural competences of their school teachers was of little consequence. Academia was deemed both irrelevant to their working class future, and emasculating to their conception of masculinity (Newburn, Stanko, 2013).
An aggressive style of masculinity was thus an important feature of the lads' collective identity. As Willis (1977, p.34) pointed out, 'Violence and the judgment of violence is the most basic axis of 'the lads' ascendance over the
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They, to quote Willis (2004, p. 172), also possess an insight 'with respect to their own conditions of existence.' An aggressive identity capital , for some males, is perceived as a far more feasible route to success than schooling. According to Hourigan (2011, p.48) teenagers from the city's poorest estates, see little reason to stay in school as they believe that they have little chance of future employment. Resistance to school is thus based on the perception that no amount of education would be sufficient to overcome the stigma that came with living in Limerick's local authority housing estates. Stella describes some of the men in her local estate in the following
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