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The Declining Significance of HomophobiaHow Teenage Boys are Redefining Masculinity and Heterosexuality$
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Mark McCormack

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199778249

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199778249.001.0001

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Popularity without Oppression

Popularity without Oppression

(p.97) 9 Popularity without Oppression
The Declining Significance of Homophobia

Mark McCormack

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the social and friendship dynamics of teenage boys in schools where overt homophobia is absent. Highlighting that boys at Standard High do not ascribe to the orthodox tenets of masculinity, it is shown that popularity is maintained by being charismatic, authentic, emotionally open and friendly with a wide range of people. Importantly, even though some boys are more popular than others, boys do not marginalize their peers by labeling any student as ‘unpopular.’ Accordingly, this chapter demonstrates the significant positive effects on male peer group cultures when homophobia is absent.

Keywords:   popularity, masculinity, friendship, charisma, authenticity, peer group

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