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Gender, Sexualities, and Primary Education: Equalities Pedagogy and the Conceivability of 'Otherness'

Atkinson, Catherine (2018) Gender, Sexualities, and Primary Education: Equalities Pedagogy and the Conceivability of 'Otherness'. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Of the increasing number of initiatives setting out in recent years to challenge heteronormativity in education, the 2006-2009 No Outsiders project has arguably been one of the most influential. Conducted across 15 primary schools in England, No Outsiders was an action research project that sought to disrupt heteronormativity through critical pedagogy, gaining widespread academic and media attention in the process. In spite of its prominence, though, there has been a lack of research exploring the ways in which children have incorporated this work into their everyday understandings and doings of gender and sexuality. This thesis draws on data from a year-long ethnography conducted across two primary schools in the North East of England – one that was and one that was not involved in No Outsiders – to explore the extent to which children’s negotiations of gender and sexuality differed across these sites. Informed by feminist poststructuralist, queer and symbolic interactionist theory, alongside Francis’ (2012) concepts of ‘gender monoglossia and heteroglossia’, it reveals doings of gender across both schools to be broadly similar, with almost all children working to maintain an impression of gender’s ‘fixity’ in the face of evident transgression. Regarding ‘sexualities’, however, attitudes are revealed as differing markedly across these sites, with the perceived conceivability of non-heterosexualities informed profoundly by the presence, or otherwise, of a formal school ethos on ‘equalities’.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Centre for Women's Studies (York)
Depositing User: Ms Catherine Atkinson
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2018 15:58
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2018 15:58
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/22221

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