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Valleys’ girls: re-theorising bodies and agency in a semi-rural post-industrial locale

This paper draws on materialist feminist theories to rethink relationships between girls’ bodies and agency. New feminist onto-epistemologies redefine agency as ‘becomings’ that dynamically emerge through assemblages comprising moving bodies, material, mechanical, organic, virtual, affective and less-than-conscious elements. Vignettes from a multi-modal, ethnographic study conducted over three years are used to demonstrate how place influenced…

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Boys, skills and class: educational failure or community survival? Insights from Vygotsky and Bernstein

The south Wales’ valleys had been at the centre of the Industrial Revolution in the 1920s and so at the cutting edge of skilled practices developed in the mining and steel industries. Men came to these remote and typologically impressive places, settled, created communities, brought up families and passed down their skills. The last working…

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Skills in motion: boys trail bike activities as transitions into working class masculinity

During an ethnographic research project exploring young people’s perceptions of living in a post-industrial semi-rural place, boys aged 13/14 years revealed their semi-clandestine motorbiking activities across mountains trails. It was found that riding motorbikes and fixing engines were potential resources for young boys’ transitions into adult working-class masculinity and sources of competence, pride and enjoyment…

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The Body and Pedagogy: Beyond Absent, Moving Bodies in Pedagogic Practice

Following the corporeal turn in social theory, this paper explores how the body is implicated in pedagogic practice and leaning. Focusing on the body has usually been recognised as part of the regulative rather than instructional discourse in schools. Work has begun to redress the mind–body imbalance through the ‘corporeal device’ developed from Bernstein’s ‘pedagogic…

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Qualitative Researcher: Issue 13

Issue 13 of WISERD’s Qualitative Researcher contains: Revisiting innovation in qualitative research – Amanda Coffey Stripping out the social: Innovation and reduction in contemporary qualitative methods – William Housley and Robin James Smith Visual methods: Innovation, decoration or distractions? – Max Travers Computer assisted qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS): A personal view – Kate Ness…

Qualitative Researcher 13(Spring 2011)
Innovating as we go: Ethnography as an evolving methodology

Qualitative mobile methods are heralded as innovative ways to involve participants, disrupting the power dynamics of the static interview and allowing the production of a co-constructed knowledge, between the researcher, the participant and the landscape. Much of this practice is informed by an understanding of place as something fluid, mutually produced and constructed. Previously we…

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Redefining masculinity: new lines of thought

A recent study of the educational attainment of British children found that boys who live in poverty are more educationally disadvantaged even than girls in similar circumstances (Mensah and Kiernan, 2010). The author’s recent work in the south Wales ex-mining valleys has brought her into contact with boys who are disaffected from school and who…