Young Nunga males at play and playing up: the look and the talk

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    This paper explores how Foucault's concept of the panopticon, power and knowledge impacts on the identity of young Nunga males in a secondary educational institution. I argue that the regulation of the Nunga body in schools is embedded in the discursive formations of knowledge about Indigenous people and the workings of power that are tied up in discipline, surveillance and management of bodies in schools. Through the Indigenous concepts of 'play', 'playing up'/'stylin' up', I draw attention to Nunga males' resistance to surveillance and management in the schooling environment through understanding themselves as Nungas and their performance of identity through the popular culture of rap to turn the surveillance gaze back upon itself. For young Nunga males turning the gaze back on itself is an act of constructive defiance that allows them a space to explore their own identities through performance rather than through the knowledge production constructed by the hegemonic racialised institution of the school.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)99-112
    Number of pages14
    JournalDiscourse: Studies in The Cultural Politics of Education
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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