Competing Gender Codes in the Classroom
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Competing Gender Codes in the Classroom book
In earlier chapters, we have seen the way in which many girls appeared to endorse traditional gender divisions in the curriculum whilst at the same time supporting the general principle of equal opportunities. This apparently contradictory position appeared to be related to conflict between normative definitions of acceptable femininity and their own observations of the reality of women's lives at work and in the home, often based on their perceptions of their mothers' lot in life. A minority of working-class and middle-class girls had developed more radical notions of femininity and were rejecting traditional curricular, vocational and domestic paths. This chapter uses the long periods which I spent observing and chatting in classrooms to analyse how these widely differing notions of femininity manifested themselves in pupils' everyday behaviour.