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“Tuck in that Shirt!” Race, Class, Gender, and Discipline in an Urban School

Edward W. Morris
Sociological Perspectives
Vol. 48, No. 1 (Spring 2005), pp. 25-48
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
DOI: 10.1525/sop.2005.48.1.25
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/sop.2005.48.1.25
Page Count: 24
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“Tuck in that Shirt!” Race, Class, Gender, and Discipline in an Urban School
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Abstract

This article explores how schools reproduce race, class, and gender inequality through the regulation of students' bodies. Using ethnographic data from an urban school, I examine how assumptions guiding bodily discipline differed for different groups of students. First, adults at the school tended to view the behaviors of African American girls as not “ladylike” and attempted to discipline them into dress and manners considered more gender appropriate. Second, school officials tended to view the behaviors of Latino boys as especially threatening, and members of this group often received strict, punitive discipline. Third, school officials tended to view the behaviors of white and Asian American students as nonthreatening and gender appropriate and disciplined these students less strictly. To conclude, I discuss the importance of viewing race, class, and gender in schools simultaneously and the problems associated with disciplinary reform in education.

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