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Type: Journal article
Title: Gender and disadvantage in the Australian parliamentary inquiry into the education of boys
Author: Hodgetts, K.
Le Couteur, A.
Citation: Feminism and Psychology, 2010; 20(1):73-93
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd
Issue Date: 2010
ISSN: 0959-3535
Statement of
Katherine Hodgetts and Amanda Lecouteur
Abstract: This article offers a discursive analysis of accounts of boys’ underachievement produced during the Australian Parliamentary Inquiry into Boys’ Education (2002). Analysis focuses on two interpretative repertoires through which boys’ positioning as ‘educationally disadvantaged’ was accomplished. Both repertoires depicted current curricula and assessment as ‘favouring’ female students. One repertoire established boys’ ‘disadvantaged’ status within accounts that made no mention of historical barriers to girls’ attainment. By contrast, a repertoire of ‘curricular feminization’ established male disadvantage in terms of explicit reference to the historical context of gendered achievement patterns. Within this second repertoire, reference to past impediments to girls’ academic success repeatedly served to refute the contemporary relevance of concern about female students’ educational performance. We argue that both of these repertoires were produced within — and served to reproduce — a framework of ‘presumptive gender equality’. This framework served to reduce questions of equity from an analysis of academic access, participation and post-school implications to a simplistic comparison of performance outcomes. We explore how such rhetorical positioning was repeatedly achieved in one institutional public policy context, demonstrating in particular how a discourse of ‘gender equity’ served to legitimate an intensified national focus on the educational interests of boys.
Rights: Copyright © 2010 by SAGE Publications
DOI: 10.1177/0959353509349601
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest
Psychology publications

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