By John Gray (eds.)

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Laugh at yourself? always see both sides of an argument? ignore criticism easily? express your feelings easily? In both Reward Intermediate and Headway Intermediate, the quiz is followed by an activity which asks learners to match adjectives with these general descriptions of character traits and behaviour in generalised situations. ’. These ‘qualities’ relate to ‘assertiveness’, a particularly common ‘quality’ promoted in the personality quizzes found in the coursebooks surveyed. ’. In Speakout Upper Intermediate (Eales and Oakes, 2011: 13) a personality quiz again appears and learners are asked to decide whether they agree or disagree with ten statements, two of which relate to a lack of assertiveness: ‘I often hesitate to speak to groups because I get embarrassed easily’ and ‘I get nervous in large groups’.

My approach was informed by Altheide’s model of Ethnographic Content Analysis (1996), which provides a framework for the analysis of documents and written texts. In ethnographic media analysis: Categories and variables initially guide the study, but others are allowed and expected to emerge throughout the study, including an orientation towards constant discovery and constant comparison of relevant situations, settings, styles, images, meanings, and nuances. (Altheide, 1996: 17) John Kullman 25 Altheide employs the term ‘protocols’ which are lists of ‘questions, items, categories, or variables that guide data collection from documents’.

In The Declining Significance of Homophobia, an ethnographic study conducted in three schools among 16–18 year old males, McCormack concludes that heterosexual masculinity is currently being redefined by modern British teenagers and claims that his informants see acceptance of homosexuality as ‘cool’ and that they openly engage in tactile expressions of affection with each other in the full knowledge that their heterosexuality is uncompromised. McCormack argues that a number of factors have combined to make homosexuality less of an unknown and feared phenomenon for young heterosexual males (and indeed for young women as well).

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