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Type: Journal article
Title: "They're all just little bits, aren't they": South Australian lesbian mothers' experiences of marginalisation in primary schools
Author: Riggs, D.
Willing, I.
Citation: Journal of Australian Studies, 2013; 37(3):364-377
Publisher: Victorian Historical Association
Issue Date: 2013
ISSN: 1444-3058
Statement of
Damien W. Riggs and Indigo Willing
Abstract: Multiple formations of family have always been a part of Australia's social and historical landscape, yet social norms typically function to marginalise some family forms while according others a privileged status. Marginalisation on the basis of sexuality, for example, whilst arguably somewhat less prevalent than in previous decades, nonetheless continues for those families positioned outside the heteronorm. Institutions such as schools can play an important role in transforming marginalising practices, yet research such as that presented in this article suggests that schools often also perpetuate marginalisation, even if unintentionally. Drawing on interviews conducted with twenty-three lesbian mothers, this article highlights the often subtle ways in which such mothers with children in South Australian primary schools experience marginalisation by educators. Specifically, we argue that marginalisation occurs in the form of injunctions made upon lesbian mothers to inform educators about their families (and to do so in often highly normative ways), to accept that it is their role to manage discrimination, and to treat as routine the marginalisation of their families. Such findings indicate that changes still remain necessary within Australian educational practices in order to ensure the full inclusion of lesbian mother families on terms of their own making.
Keywords: Lesbian mothers; South Australia; primary schools; marginalisation; heteronormativity
Description: Published online: 20 Aug 2013
Rights: © 2013 International Australian Studies Association
DOI: 10.1080/14443058.2013.812574
Published version:
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 7
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