Tolonen, Tarja
Title:Violence and Social Order.
Category:Other Publications
Published in:Hoikkala, Tommi (ed.): Pictures of Men. Snapshots of Young Men in Finland
Pages:102 - 117
Place:Tampere Finland
Type:Published works
Keywords:violence boys school
No electronic version available.

      Tolonen presents three 15 year old boys who all have quite different relationship to physical competition and violence. She analyses how these boys face violence and how they react to it, and she compares their stories to the concept of hegemonic masculinity. Tolonen identifies different strategies, activities and reactions to violence that the three boys use; just in one person's speech one can find several strategies. These strategies are briefly: 1. teasing, fighting; 2. escaping, refusing to hit; 3. defending oneself; 4. allying with friends; 5. entertainment, fantasies, books, movies, computer games etc.; 6. future dreams of being a good soldier 7. violence metaphors in the speech; 8. violence due to alcohol; 9. important stories of doing well in the physical sphere; 10. emphasising physical strength, physical hobbies.

      Even though all three stories are different, Tolonen draws a conclusion that violence touches all of these boys; they all use it either as entertainment or to gain social advantages. They all recognise the hierarchy between the boys, even if they all do not support or agree to it. Thus Tolonen asks, if this is how the boys have to make a stand to the hegemonic masculinity? It is important that different strategies of relating to violence have different social consequences. Violence becomes part of the self-defining process and not just pathological behaviour. It is also a way to gain social respect, "being a king". In addition to violence, there are other ways to gain this. In the interviews, violence also brought some change in to the school routines. Violence has a multidimensional meaning in the boys' life and its importance depends on the group.

      On schooling, gender and nations see also Gordon, Tuula, Holland Janet & Lahelma, Elina (2000): Making Spaces. Macmillan. UK.
Last Modified: 15.04.2002