Becoming schoolgirls: the ambivalent project of subjectification

Davies, Bronwyn, Dormer, Suzy, Gannon, Sue, Laws, Catherine, Rocco, Sharn, Taguchi, Hillevi Lenz, and McCann, Helen (2001) Becoming schoolgirls: the ambivalent project of subjectification. Gender and Education, 13 (2). pp. 167-182.

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In this article, the authors examine the concept and practices of subjectification; that is, the processes through which we are subjected, and actively take up as our own the terms of our subjection. They use Judith Butler’s theorising of subjection both as a starting point for working with their own memories of being subjected in school settings, and as the theoretical basis of their analysis of subjectification. Their method of working, which they refer to as collective biography, is derived from Haug et al.’s methods developed in Female Sexualization. Their memories focus on aspects of the achievement of the individual, appropriate(d) schoolgirl subject who simultaneously constitutes herself and is constituted through discourse. They analyse the illusion of autonomy through which modern subjects are made possible, and the inevitable ambivalence that is experienced as schoolgirls take themselves up appropriately within the possibilities made available to them. Through remembering their own pasts, and the embodied and emotional detail through which we became (and go on becoming) subjects, they open up for inspection the contradictory ground of the humanist subject, and in particular the feminine humanist subject, as it is achieved in educational settings.

Item ID: 11811
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1360-0516
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2010 05:37
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130308 Gender, Sexuality and Education @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939904 Gender Aspects of Education @ 100%
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