9 May 2019, 18:30 - 19:30
Over the past twenty years, the ‘feminisation’ of teaching and more broadly of education as a whole has become a well-rehearsed theme across parts of the global North and the global South. Drawing on research conducted with school teachers and with students and academics with caring responsibilities (e.g. Moreau, 2011, 2014, 2016, 2018), I discuss some of the claims which underpin discourses of teaching as ‘feminised’ and the widespread construction of this feminisation, in its various meanings, as a ‘problem’. In particular, I show how, from early years to higher education, those associated with prevalent cultural constructions of ‘femininity’ and/or those who do not align with dominant gender norms are subjected to processes of misrecognition. The lecture takes on Raphael Reed’s invitation ‘to resist the inscriptions that draw us towards some unproblematised acceptance of the “truth” ’ (1999, p. 93). Consistent with a post-structuralist approach, I contend that these claims are not innocuous and call for a more critical and nuanced understanding of processes of feminisation so that rhetorics of gender equality are put into practice.
Marie-Pierre Moreau is Professor in Education and Education Research Lead in the School of Education and Social Care, Anglia Ruskin University, UK. A sociologist by training, her research is located at the nexus of education, work and inequalities. Her current research concentrates in two key areas: teachers' identities and careers, with specific reference to gender and the 'feminisation thesis’, and the relationship between care and academic work, with specific reference to the way students and academic staff with caring responsibilities are positioned in academic discourses. She is the author or co-author of over 100 publications, including two monographs and an edited volume. She is the editor of the peer-reviewed journal International Studies in Widening Participation (with Dr Anna Bennett, Newcastle, Australia and Dr Nadine Zacharias, Deakin, Australia) and the editor of the Bloomsbury Gender and Education book series (with Prof Penny Jane Burke, Newcastle, Australia and Prof Nancy Niemi, Yale, USA.