Review of C. J. Pascos's Dude You'Re a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in the High School

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Book Review: Dude, You’re a Fag- C. J. Pascoe Dude You’re a Fag is an exploration by Sociologist C. J. Pascoe into the nature of masculinity and sexuality in the High School environment. Over the course of a year, Pascoe carried out her research in the typically American High School, River High, where her findings highlighted what many gender scholars already knew but often overlooked (Ward, 2009). Using the theoretical background of Judith Butler’s notion that gender is the product of repeated acts of repudiation and confirmation (Butler, n.d.), combined with queer theory and feminist theory, Pascoe develops further to explain the way in which the High School environment creates hegemonic masculinity. Pascoe presents, with much empirical evidence, the main themes of compulsive heterosexuality, the fag discourse and the notion of female masculinity and discusses the implications these have for the broader concepts of gender in society, culminating in the idea that masculinity is not a homogenous category, rather a configuration of “practices and discourses” that both girl and boy youths embody in different ways (Pascoe, 2012, p. 5) and that these gendered processes are encoded into the youth on multiple levels. The first significant argument that Pascoe proposes is the “heterosexualising process” that is organised by educational institutions through various performances and rituals that reiterate gendered power and develop masculine identities. This is particularly exemplified by the opening phenomena of the Mr Cougar Assembly. Here, Pascoe uses the everyday normalities of a high school performance to show how young adolescent men view masculinity and how they achieve masculine identities by drawing attention to the failed masculinity or weakness of others. The weak masculinity being that of male femininity; the “high voices and skirts” worn imposingly by the

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