Ruptured Dreams: Female Students’ Talk About Boys as Past “Lovers”

Download (PDF, 648KB)

Authors: Joanne Cassar, Faculty for Social Wellbeing, University of Malta, Malta
Email: joanne.cassar@um.edu.mt
Published: February 28, 2018
https://doi.org/10.22492/ije.6.1.03

Citation: Cassar, J. (2018). Ruptured Dreams: Female Students' Talk About Boys as Past "Lovers". IAFOR Journal of Education, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ije.6.1.03


Abstract

When romantic encounters come to an end they often evoke a plethora of feelings associated with "breaking up". This article explores this issue in relation to a number of adolescent girls' views on this topic which emerged during focus group discussions about Eminem's song Foolish Pride. The lyrics of this song convey resentment towards an ex-girlfriend and accentuate racial elements which, in the words of the song, could be summed up as "Never date a Black girl because Blacks only want your money". Data were collected in two school settings, involving female students of different nationalities, in order to discover students' reactions to the provocative lyrics that demonstrate how meanings that surround the end of a romantic relationship are shaped and produced within the intersectionality of gender and race. A diffractive model of analysis is adopted to explore the girls' concerns with the misogynistic tone underlying this rap song. The girls' opposition to boys emerges as a central theme. Underlying this resistance however there was also an affirmation of heteronormative femininity. The girls' perspectives suggest that although students do not passively absorb racialised and heterosexualised constructions of gender, their apprehension of messages mediated through popular media could affirm the gender divide. It could also reinforce estrangements between teenage boys and girls that the media promotes.

Keywords

adolescent romantic relationships, adolescent friendships, race, gender, diffractive analysis, Eminem