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Bad Boys: Public Schools in the Making of Black Masculinity (Law, Meaning, and Violence) Paperback – August 28, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0472088492 ISBN-10: 0472088491 Edition: Reprint

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Bad Boys: Public Schools in the Making of Black Masculinity (Law, Meaning, and Violence) + Dude, You're a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School + Ain't No Makin' It: Aspirations and Attainment in a Low-Income Neighborhood, 3rd Edition
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Product Details

  • Series: Law, Meaning, and Violence
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press; Reprint edition (August 28, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0472088491
  • ISBN-13: 978-0472088492
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

It makes the book very easy to follow and refer back to.
Lolita
This book will either reinforce what one knows about this experience or open ones eyes to what is going on in our schools for African American students.
Amazon Customer
I know that she made it feel like a conversation but I felt like much of the conversation was repetitive.
Carissa Graf

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book and anyone interested in the future of not only black children but all children in the public school system must read it. Ferguson reintroduces us to a world many of us have long left behind and almost forgotten-elementary school. But more importantly she gives us a new perspective on the plight of young black men. Looking specifically at how the public school system constructs and imagines young black boys as troublemakers, Ferguson reveals how well intentioned educators contribute and reinforce negative and racist stereotypes about black men. Fegerson, however, is at her best when she demonstrates how young black boys through daily resistance (understood by teachers as making trouble) attempt to challenge a system that devalues their ways of knowing and expressing themselves. Read this book and give it to to a teacher, a mother, a father, a grandparent, anyone who is interested it making sure that all children get a quality education.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Bad Boys by Ann Arnette Ferguson was an amazing book. I appreciated the ways that the theory that I have been reading flowed out of it. The book reminded me of the experiences that I have had teaching, in particular the school I taught at last year. Last year I taught at a school which was attended by predominately African American students. Many of the children?s experiences that Ferguson described were extremely familiar to me. I thought that she did an excellent job of illustrating the ways that cultural and social reproduction is espoused in schools.
The descriptions of the forms of discipline within schools and the ways in which teachers are expected to regulate discipline were very familiar to me. In fact this book addressed the very reasons that it was hard for me to be a teacher within our current education system. The job description of ?normalizer? did not fit my personality. The pressure that I felt from the principal of my school was very much in line with the following quote from page 43.
One of the systemic pressures making for more oppressive, punitive relations for African American children is the fear that white middle-class families will increasingly pull their children out of the public school and send them to private schools. Pressure is felt by the student specialist and ?Jail Keeper? to contain, suppress, and conceal damaging behavior that could contribute to the school?s reputation as a hostile environment.
This pressure in my school was not limited to the people who had the specific job description of disciplinarian (which there were three of, not including the principal), it was put onto every teacher within the school.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kristen R. Mirsky on April 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
I was excited to begin reading this book and to learn how the school system unproportionately suspended and disciplined African American males. I was not expecting to learn how the author related the concept of masculinity and discipline into cause and effect paradigm. Even though this class and other sociological classes have taught me to think for myself, ask questions, and expand on concepts presented to me, I am in agreement with the theories and evidence that the author, Ann Arnett Ferguson, presents in her book.

The book begins with an introduction of the community that Rosa Parks Elementary School belongs to. Ferguson is conducting her research here for her doctorate. She has many forms of observing and gathering data needed for her thesis. Sometimes she is a "fly on the wall", a quiet observer. Other times Ferguson is more involved in participant groups, tutoring, and one-on-one interviews. She gathers the most information and insights through her interviews with the children that attend the school and their families. She credits the interview sessions as a valuable way to let the children ask her questions, gain her trust, and for her to develop a deeper understanding of her own strengths and weaknesses and those of her interviewees.

After observing the pupils of the school in the hallways, after school tutoring sessions, and inside the classroom, Ferguson makes an important discovery that becomes the foundation of her research. Her breakthrough came when she stumbled upon two small rooms in the school. These rooms provided discipline, punishment, and seclusion for students who were not following the classroom or school rules. The first room, used for minor infractions, was known throughout the population of the students as "The Punishing Room".
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lolita on April 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
Being in the education field, I had very high expectations for the book, Bad Boys: Public Schools in the Making of Black Masculinity by Anne Ferguson. My expectations were met with great success. I went at this book with a very critical standpoint looking to argue as much as I could and to find faults in the writing. I fell short on many accounts. To take such a broad topic as to why African American males had a higher rate of being labeled as troublemakers and research it was a great feat. Ferguson does a wonderful job of backing up all of her observations and arguments with specific events that she witnessed throughout the duration of her study. She goes on to give even greater credibility to her arguments by listing amazing footnotes with many other studies and books that back up her statements.

The main reoccurring topics throughout the book were the way that African American males' actions were very quick to be adultificated and different attempts at normalizing various actions. The boys were split up by administration as "Troublemakers" and "Schoolboys". The "Troublemakers" were the ones that faculty members would say were going nowhere accept to jail. These are the students that Ferguson set out to understand. The book does a wonderful job of taking each chapter as a separate argument. Ferguson uses the initial chapter to tell what point it is that she is attempting to convey, what her reasons were to look at the topic, a detailed writing of what the exact message is and leaving no loose ends. She then follows up any forms of doubt or argumentation by using field notes to give exact events and conversations that prove her argument.
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