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dc.contributor.authorMatthews, Jairus-Joaquin R.
dc.description.abstractBlack males are perceived to be a group “in crisis” both within popular culture and in the social sciences across a variety of fields including sociology, psychology, education, health, and criminology. Black maleness, the state or condition of being a (young) Black male in the United States, has become synonymous with being considered a problem. The construction of the “Black male problem” has occurred through the description of three cyclical discourses that I refer to as the discourse of disparity, the discourse of failure, and the discourse of endangerment. These discourses have been reified to the extent that the performance (cultural events and actions embedded in the flow of everyday life) of Black maleness, whether in popular culture or in the lived experiences of people, have consequences for how Black males are viewed and how they view themselves. The purpose of this research was to interrogate the discourses of Black maleness by engaging a group of urban adolescent male students and staff members at a local community center in a collaborative cultural critique of Black maleness and its performances in popular culture. Using the methodological tools of performance ethnography, I demonstrate how the participants performed as cultural critics in exploring the productions and meanings of culture within a critical media literacy program and inquiry project that I designed and implemented. The ethnographic findings illustrate that despite major challenges to critical education, critical media literacy and cultural studies have the potential to help educators and youth collaboratively challenge narrow representations and performances of Black maleness and perhaps other identities presented within popular culture, the social sciences, and social life.
dc.subjectCritical media literacy
dc.subjectCultural studies
dc.subjectBlack masculinity
dc.subjectUrban youth
dc.subjectperformance ethnography
dc.titlePerforming black maleness?
dc.title.alternativeusing cultural studies to question narrow conceptions of black masculinity
dc.description.departmentLanguage and Literacy Education
dc.description.majorReading Education
dc.description.advisorDonna Alvermann
dc.description.committeeDonna Alvermann
dc.description.committeeBob Fecho
dc.description.committeeLouis Castenell

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