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Tomboys and Other Gender Heroes

Confessions from the Classroom


Karleen Pendleton Jiménez

Have you ever been told that you’re too girlish or too boyish? We are all potential targets of the gender police, some more so than others. And how did you respond? Did you hide or change or rebel or hurt or gleefully celebrate your style? Tomboys and Other Gender Heroes is a study that brings together gender stories from approximately 600 children and youth. Set in both urban and rural contexts, these young people show how their schools and communities respond to their bodies, passions, and imaginations. As one 13-year-old student expresses, «My flowered jeans make me feel happy because they represent the sort of feminine side to me and at the same time show my masculine side. They also make me feel like I’m a part of a large force that stands up to bullying and criticism, to express themselves and to show the world that our lives have meaning.» In this book, student writings are framed by teaching strategies and gender theory, featuring themes of sports, film, media, landscape, joyfulness, and gender creativity. The research will be of great interest to university students in the fields of education, gender, sexuality and women’s studies, sociology, social work, psychology, counseling, and child development. This book is ideal for teachers, professors, parents, and community members who hope to create accepting environments for gender diversity.
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Part of the Peter Lang Diversity series, the Gender and Sexuality in Education series seeks to publish high quality manuscripts that address the complex interrelationship between gender and sexuality in shaping young people’s schooling experiences, their participation in popular youth cultures, and their sense of self in relation to others. Books published might include: a study of hip-hop youth culture, Latina/o students, white working class youth, or LGBTQQ community groups—in each case asking how they explore, challenge, and perform gender and sexualities as part of learning and “becoming somebody.” Other books might address issues of masculinities, gender and embodiment, trans and genderqueer youth, sexuality education, or the construction of heteronormativity in schools. We invite contributions from authors of ethnographic and other qualitative studies, theoretical texts, as well as critical analyses of popular culture “texts” targeted at or produced by youth—including an analysis of popular music and fan culture, video and film, and gaming culture. While the focus of the series is on original research or theoretical monographs, exceptionally well-crafted proposals for thematically coherent edited volumes and textbooks will also be considered.

For additional information about this series or for the submission of manuscripts, please contact:

Elizabeth J. Meyer, California Polytechnic State University:

To order other books in this series, please contact our Customer Service Department:

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