Edited By Elizabeth J. Meyer and Dennis Carlson
22. Troubling Silences and Taboo Texts: Constructing Safer and More Positive School Climates for Same-Sex-Attracted High School Students in Australia
English in the Australian Curriculum
Troubling Silences and Taboo Texts
Constructing Safer and More Positive School Climates for Same-Sex-Attracted High School Students in Australia
Jacqueline Ullman & Kelli McGraw
A plethora of current research outlines the typical secondary school environment as hostile or, at the very least, unwelcoming and unfriendly to same-sex-attracted (SSA) and gender-atypical students (Hillier et al., 2010; Kosciw, Greytak, Bartkiewicz, Boesen, & Palmer, 2012; Robinson & Espelage, 2011; Ullman, 2012). This work is representative of an important and long-awaited shift, moving from an ‘at risk’ student discourse, to examining the ways in which the secondary school environment is ‘risky’ for SSA young people. This shift presents an opportunity to examine the ways that language shapes the school environment and (re)produces hierarchies of sexuality and sexual expression.
Rather than focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) policy and related curricular directives currently in play in Australia’s secondary schools, this chapter juxtaposes the findings of research into the school experiences of a small group of SSA young people with an analysis of two contemporary, young-adult novels. The books, The Hunger Games (Collins, 2008), and Tomorrow When the War Began (Marsden, 1993), eligible for study in Australian English classes, are currently popular in schools—as shown through the large availability of related curriculum materials—and have been lauded for their ‘contemporary’ depiction of female heroines. The authors use this framing of the data as a way to problematise current English...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.