'I’m Happy with Who I Am': A Discursive Analysis of the Self-characterisation Practices of Boys in 'Behaviour' Schools

Graham, Linda J. (2015) 'I’m Happy with Who I Am': A Discursive Analysis of the Self-characterisation Practices of Boys in 'Behaviour' Schools. In O'Reilly, Michelle & Lester, Jessica Nina (Eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of Child Mental Health. Palgrave McMillan, Basingstoke, Hampshire, pp. 519-538.

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Abstract

In this chapter, I draw on poststructural theories of language to examine the self-characterisation practices of 33 boys attending special schools for students with disruptive behaviour. During a semi-structured interview, each boy was asked to describe his personality and then to choose from a selection of positive/negative word pairs. The objective was to determine whether these young people would characterise themselves in positive or negative ways. Participants were then asked if there was anything they would change about themselves if they could. Responses were analysed and compared against a discourse model developed from media reports and interviews with their principals. Findings suggest that while discourse may well ‘form the objects of which it speaks’ (Foucault, 1972, p. 49) in the eyes of teachers, principals, psychiatrists and paediatricians, it also offers a means through which the constituted subject can re-author itself in a more positive frame.

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ID Code: 78392
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: poststructural theory, discourse analysis, positive illusory bias, behaviour disorder
ISBN: 9781137428301
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Special Education and Disability (130312)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (220000) > PHILOSOPHY (220300) > Poststructuralism (220317)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Cultural & Professional Learning
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Funding:
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 The Author(s)
Deposited On: 04 Nov 2014 23:00
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2016 04:09

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