Art, Education and Gender: The Shaping of Female Ambition by Gill Hopper

By Gill Hopper

Why do women examine artwork and why do ladies develop into basic lecturers? This e-book examines and divulges the strong impression of the family members, the varsity and the kingdom in shaping woman id and developing notions of gender appropriateness. It additionally discusses the prestige of artwork in school and the placement of girls artists in society.

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Additional resources for Art, Education and Gender: The Shaping of Female Ambition (Palgrave Studies in Gender and Education)

Sample text

20 Art, Education and Gender In the seventies, research into higher education showed that female undergraduates were reluctant to compete with men in their academic groups for fear of undercutting the male ego, which they respected. It was easier to ‘play dumb’ or underachieve. Although this attitude has clearly changed and many girls are equally competitive, in my view there is some resonance in the studies of both Shaw (1980) and Clarricoates (1980), who argue that girls are rather pushed out of educational competition by being turned into a negative reference group for boys: ‘the very presence of girls both ensures the minimum conditions for boys’ self-esteem and makes what is ascribed seem achieved’ (Shaw, 1980: 71).

Sexual bullying amongst girls was not evident (Fineran and Bennet, 1999), but (in contrast to Reay’s 2001 study) girls with the aspirational notion of being the sort of ‘nice’ girls that are characteristic of middle-class femininity appropriated male policing terms such as ‘slut’ and ‘slag’. Hence, misogynistic and homophobic language transcending class and ethnic divides, used particularly by boys but also by girls, was a key instrument of ensuring hegemonic heterosexuality and the superiority of male power.

Girls were consistently the negative reference group for boys, that is, whatever else they may or not be, they were at least ‘not girls’ (Shaw, 1980: 71, my italics). Bourdieu, who wrote extensively on the construction of society, noted that a person’s social class (and the accepted culture of that class) is significant in the formation of the individual’s identity and habitus, that is, ‘the ways of doing and being which social subjects acquire during their socialisation’ (Lovell in Fowler, 2000: 27).

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