Repository logo

Violent boys: masculinities among primary school boys in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This study is a case study of primary school boys, violence and masculinity in a Pinetown primary school. Gender violence is a cause for concern in society. School violence, which is a direct consequence of gender violence, is a serious problem. School violence can be described as physical, psychological, emotional and verbal acts perpetrated by learners to other learners, teachers to learners or even learners to teachers. This research explores the construction of violent masculinities at a primary school in Nagina, KwaZulu-Natal. This study was conducted in Monroe primary school (pseudonym), which is situated in Nagina, Pinetown. This study uses qualitative methods and operates within the interpretive paradigm. In obtaining data, focus groups, individual interviews as well as observations were used. Twenty five boys from grade seven were the participants. The data generated has been analysed using thematical analysis. The findings of the research revealed that grade seven boys construct and experience violence in ways that support hegemonic constructions of masculinity. Masculinity and the close association with violence was produced in families and in schools. The study also showed that young boys are highly aware of sexuality and often disparaged others who were seen as homosexual. It was found in the study that young boys are involved in multiple relationships. This was not simply for the pleasure of having many partners but also because of the enhanced masculine status it accords them. Teachers are often perpetrators of violence in the classrooms by means of corporal punishment and verbal insults, which reinforces violence. The study showed that boys who stand out because of their smaller physical size are often victims of bullying and boys who stand out in age and are older than their peers are often perpetrators of bullying and violence. The study concludes by highlighting the problems of violence in the schools. Recommendations that involve facilitating teachers, parents and learners. The promotion of a non-violent culture in schools is vital as well as the promotion of a conducive teaching and learning environment.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Edgewood.