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Title: ‘Of course we must be equal, but …’: imagining gendered futures in two rural Southern African secondary schools
Authors: Ansell, N
Keywords: Geography;School;Youth;Critical pedagogy;Focus groups;Southern Africa
Issue Date: 2002
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Geoforum 33(2): 179-194
Abstract: Based on focus group discussions held with students at rural secondary schools in Lesotho and Zimbabwe, this paper argues that secondary schools provide important spaces for the (re)construction of gendered identities among rural girls in southern Africa. Central to processes of identity formation in rural secondary schools are normative discourses centring on notions of ‘culture’ and ‘equal rights’. These discourses are (re)produced in secondary schools and are appropriated by students in making sense of their lives. Both are ambiguously related to dominant gender ideologies and are mobilised by students in ways which do not simply conform to an accommodation/resistance dichotomy. Also highlighted is the complex articulation of identity production and materiality. Identities are constructed in the context of the school in relation to expected material performance in contexts removed in time and space. The ‘culture’ and ‘equal rights’ discourses are understood and negotiated in relation to expectations of future lives beyond the spatial and temporal boundaries of the school: lives imagined in relation to particular (generally urban) geographical contexts.
Appears in Collections:Human Geography
Dept of Education Research Papers

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