Bad or Brilliant: The Gendered Social Construction of Exceptionalism in Early Adolescence
SCOPE Brown Bag seminar
Monday, April 15, 2019
12:00 to 1:15
Dr. Michela Musto
Free and open to the public
Stanford Graduate School of Education
Center for Comparitive Studies in Race and Ethnicity
John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities
Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality
From kindergarten through college, students perceive boys as more intelligent than girls, yet few studies have identified how school processes shape students’ gender status beliefs. Drawing on 2.5 years of longitudinal ethnography and 196 interviews conducted at a racially diverse, public middle school, this presentation identifies the effect of educators’ differential enforcement of school rules by course level on students’ beliefs. In higher-level courses, where educators tolerated the predominately affluent, White, and Asian American boys’ rule-breaking, students learned to perceive boys as geniuses and prodigies. However, in lower-level courses, where educators penalized the predominately non-affluent Latinx boys’ rule-breaking, students learned to perceive girls as smarter than boys, but not exceptional. Dr. Musto concludes by theorizing how school processes contribute to the gendered social construction of exceptionalism in early adolescence.
Dr. Musto received a Ph.D. and M.A. in Sociology at the University of Southern California and a B.S.in Sociology and Statistics at the University of Michigan.