Swearing as a method of antipedagogy in workshops of rap lyrics for ‘failing boys’ in vocational education

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Public debates in Finland on the unwillingness of boys to learning literacy have called for masculine role models to promote reading. This article analyses a privately funded project where two adult males lead a series of gangsta rap workshops during the Finnish language and communication lessons. The workshops were aimed at students in male-dominated fields in vocational education and training (VET). From a methodological perspective, this study contributes to the field of feminist ethnography, and the article draws from sociolinguistic research on swearing. The analysis demonstrates how the workshop leaders profile the students as ‘laddish’, which justifies the leaders’ swearing and thus creates an affiliation to working-class, anti-school masculinities. The article concludes by reformulating the concept of antipedagogy that intersects the ‘failing boys’ discourse with neoliberal mentalities of education. This involves a necessity for leaders to please by performing ‘laddism’ and drawing distinctions within the educational context.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGender and Education
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)420-434
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • Neoliberalism
  • Vocational education
  • discourse analysis
  • ethnography
  • language
  • literacy
  • masculinities
  • social class
  • 516 Educational sciences

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