UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The Teacher and the skinhead : a style of privilege and the privilege of style : a critical examination of subcultural style and its relation to youth and privilege Marchand, Michael Joshua


In the contemporary educational context, youth and their relationships to the larger society of which they exist is a complex field of deep symbolic and cultural meaning. Success in the system is often based on complex negotiations of privilege that shape the outcomes and expectations we place upon youth. This thesis takes as its central theoretical underpinnings the notion, as expressed by Paulo Friere and his successors within Critical Pedagogy, that access to education and its benefits is heavily mediated by relations of power, privilege and social capital. The concept of subculture as it was developed by thinkers such as Stuart Hall and Dick Hebdige and its deployment as a means of regulating and shaping youth provides a frame for the analysis of the various ways in which narratives of privilege shape our image and perception of youth and the institutions of education. The thesis examines the how images and portrayals of youth are shaped by examining the representations of youth and subculture in film and in art in the nineteen eighties and nineteen nineties. The analysis, instead of focusing upon oppression, looks at the ways in which narratives of privilege create oppression through the strategic privileging of particular identities and ways of being for youth and how this impacts upon them through institutions of education.

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