Reproducing Gender? Essays on Educational Theory and Feminist Politics

Reproducing Gender? Essays on Educational Theory and Feminist Politics

Reproducing Gender? Essays on Educational Theory and Feminist Politics

Reproducing Gender? Essays on Educational Theory and Feminist Politics

Synopsis

Reproducing Gender charts the development of a theory of gender relations built up over the last twenty years. This theory has been highly influential in establishing the importance of the sociology of women's education for the study of society. It demonstrates the power of feminist educational theory and research, and its role in creating new political and academic agendas.This fascinating book explores gender relationships at all levels of schooling. It brings together political, social and cultural theories to understand continuity and change in gender and education. Madeleine Arnot, widely considered to be a pioneer in the field of gender and education, brings together for the first time in a single volume her most influential writings. This book is essential reading for students and academics in the areas of gender studies, women's studies, educational policy, sociology and history of education.

Excerpt

This book is dedicated to the memory of Basil Bernstein who, as my doctoral supervisor in 1972, led me along a difficult and rocky path. I began my academic career teaching his theories and I have returned to his work time and time again to rethink the social relations which I observed. Bernstein challenged me at every stage in my academic career to rise above the detail of human experience and try to make sense of the social order. His belief in the power of sociology as a discipline remains central to my understanding of education. This book represents my response to his challenge.

Over the last twenty-five years so many people have helped me to develop my thinking and understanding that it is impossible to name them all. I do hope that I am not offending friends and colleagues by naming those to whom I owe especial thanks for the part they have played in supporting my work in the field of gender and education. At a time when gender was a marginal 'Cinderella' in sociology of education I owe a particular debt to Len Barton who organised the annual Westhill Conferences on sociology of education to which he invited me to talk on numerous occasions; to Kathleen Weiler as editor of Journal of Education at Boston University who gave me a number of opportunities to position myself within the American field of critical social theory; to James Donald who, when editor of Screen Education, commissioned my first article on gender; and to Rosemary Deem who asked me to contribute to the first gender and education collection.

My colleagues Roger Dale and Geoff Esland at the Open University argued with and supported me through the difficult days of the 'new sociology of education' and the emergence of political economy. I have the fondest memories of those exhilarating times. With their help, publishing under the name of Madeleine MacDonald, I cut my teeth on writing units and editing course readers for Open University courses and, in particular, for the infamous Schooling and Society course.

Feminist educationalists internationally have supported each other through various eras, both modernist and post-modernist. I owe an enormous debt to Miriam David and Gaby Weiner for years of extraordinary intellectual companionship and sisterhood and to Jo-Anne Dillabough for her friendship and exceptionally challenging encounters with my work. Other fellow travellers in

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