This collection investigates the ways in which boys and young men negotiate neoliberal discourse surrounding aspiration and how neoliberalism shapes their identities. Expanding the field of masculinity studies in education, the contributors offer international comparisons of different subgroups of boys and young men in primary, secondary and university settings. A cross-sectional analysis of race, gender, and class theory is employed to illuminate the role of aspiration in shaping boys’ identities, which adds nuance to their complex "identity work" in neoliberal times.

chapter |15 pages


ByGarth Stahl, Joseph Derrick Nelson, Derron O. Wallace

part I|52 pages

chapter 1|15 pages

Policy Logics, Counter-Narratives, and New Directions

Boys and Schooling in a Neoliberal Age
ByKonstanze Spohrer, Garth Stahl

chapter 2|19 pages

Aspiration Anxieties

Developing Middle-Class Masculinities among Black African Boys in London
ByDerron O. Wallace

chapter 3|16 pages

White Working-Class Boys in the Neoliberal Meritocracy

The Pitfalls of the “Aspiration-Raising” Agenda
BySam Baars

part II|75 pages

chapter 4|18 pages

“I’m Not Just One Type of Person”

Aspirational Working-Class Belfast Boys and Complex Embodied Performances of Educationally Successful Masculinities
ByNicola Ingram

chapter 5|19 pages

Coming of Age through the Recession

High School Imaginings of Post-Recession Futures in New York City
ByPatrick Alexander

chapter 6|18 pages

“I Want To Be a Soccer Player or a Mathematician”

Fifth-Grade Black Boys’ Aspirations at a “Neoliberal” Single-Sex School
ByJoseph Derrick Nelson

chapter 7|18 pages

“Without My Education, I Can’t Be Somebody”

Latino Masculinity, School Contexts, and Aspiration
ByMellie Torres

part III|69 pages

chapter 8|19 pages

(Re)masculinizing “Suzhi Jiaoyu” (Education for Quality)

Aspirational Values of Modernity in Neoliberal China
ByXiaodong Lin, Máirtín Mac an Ghaill

chapter 9|18 pages

“Gotta Get That Laziness Out of Me”

Negotiating Masculine Aspirational Subjectivities in the Transition from School to University in Australia
BySue Nichols, Garth Stahl

chapter 10|18 pages

The Neoliberal Masculine Logic

Skilled Migration, International Students, and the Indian “Other” in Australia
ByMichiel Baas

chapter 11|12 pages

Conclusion Masculinity and Aspiration in the Era of Neoliberal Education

International Perspectives
ByGarth Stahl, Joseph Derrick Nelson, Derron O. Wallace