Education, Gender, and Anxiety

Synopsis

This interdisciplinary text explores the scope for applying psychoanalytical ideas to gender inequalities that are inherent in the educational system. Although modern education aims to egalitarian and meritocratic, it is still true that in most cases it does not improve the life chances of girls to the extent that it ought to, or does for boys. Based on literature gathered from North America, Europe and Britain, this text argues for an 'object relations' approach when analysing gender differences in subject choice and polarisation in reading, writing and drawing, and stresses the need to pay close attention to the unconscious processes which school settings mobilise. Analysing the concept of 'in Loco Parentis', it presents parenting as the emotional substructure of education, and suggests challenging areas for future empirical work.