Knowledge and experience: an exploration masculine subjectivities and social justice education
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AbstractThis philosophical inquiry challenges the conventional perspective that ‘boys will be boys’
moving towards opportunities for social change through the lived experience of masculinities.
The conservative political perspective has failed to challenge the dominant discourse on
masculinity, resulting in the maintenance of patriarchal systems that perpetuate issues like
sexism and homophobia in our communities. At the same time, social justice spaces are often precarious spaces for privileged males. My inquiry acknowledges masculinity as a state of ambiguity and considers future implications for social justice education through an analysis of male privilege and the epistemic conditions of this particular social location. My conceptual
analysis provides a pedagogical exploration that connects interdisciplinary theoretical
perspectives related to theories of the self including subjectivities, social performances, and
socio-cultural structures of gender identity. My critique of the current status of social justice
education directed towards men and boys is explored through dialectics, intersectionality, postmodernism, gender theory, and phenomenology which are used as methods for mapping the hermeneutics of privilege and masculine-oriented experiential knowledge. I suggest that
educational reform can offer a humanist approach to learning about gender-based violence by addressing barriers to learning such as opposition, complacency, and ignorance and instead directing resources towards possibilities for change through situated knowledge.