High school and the difficult terrain of sexuality and gender identity are brilliantly explored in this smart, incisive ethnography. Based on eighteen months of fieldwork in a racially diverse working-class high school, Dude, You're a Fag sheds new light on masculinity both as a field of meaning and as a set of social practices. C. J. Pascoe's unorthodox approach analyzes masculinity as not only a gendered process but also a sexual one. She demonstrates how the "specter of the fag" becomes a disciplinary mechanism for regulating heterosexual as well as homosexual boys and how the "fag discourse" is as much tied to gender as it is to sexuality.
"Laced with evocative stories based on ethnographic observations and interviews with high school kids, Dude, You're a Fag tells gripping stories of life in high school, while helping to extend the cutting edge of scholarly theory on gender and sexualities. C.J. Pascoe has contributed a highly readable and extremely insightful book that will be required reading for students and scholars of youth and the construction of sex and gender in schools."-Michael A. Messner, author of Taking the Field: Women, Men and Sports
"This is a strikingly original study of schoolboys renegotiating class, gender, and ethnicity, along with the labeling as 'fag'. Here homophobia is at work in a path breaking study, which is also a highly readable must-read."-Ken Plummer, University of Essex, and editor of Sexualities
"We know that schools are a central site for the construction of gender identity, but until C. J. Pascoe's careful and compassionate ethnography, we haven't known exactly how gender conformity is extracted from a slurry of humiliations, fears, and anxieties. Boys will not be boys unless they are made to be, by violence, real or implied. A troubling, thoughtful work."-Michael Kimmel, author of Manhood in America
"Pascoe's thoughtful analysis of the rhetorical and interactional processes that constitute the field of masculinity for young, high school men coming of age is rich and engaging. With fresh insight and careful observation, Pascoe sheds new light on the complex interplay of masculinity, homophobia, sexuality, and the body, compelling us to rethink the formation of gender identities, collective gender practices, and the reproduction of gender inequalities."-Amy L. Best, author of Prom Night: Youth, Schools and Popular Culture and Fast Cars, Cool Rides: The Accelerating World of Youth and Their Cars
"In this superb ethnography of daily life in a contemporary high school, C. J. Pascoe highlights the sexualized dynamics of youthful masculinity. With vivid detail and perceptive analysis, she examines the 'fag talk' which pervades boys' conversations; the convergence of gender, sexual, and racialized practices in school rituals like the 'Mr. Cougar' contest; and the experiences of girls who display themselves as masculine. The result is a book that breaks fresh ground in masculinity and gender studies-and is a very good read!"-Barrie Thorne, author of Gender Play: Girls and Boys in School