Feminist and genealogical approaches to issues of gender equity in education: what good will it do us now?

Year: 1998

Author: Hayes, Debra

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In the late 1960's, the second wave of feminism which swept across industrialised democracies in the form of the Women's Liberation Movement coincided with a shift from differentiable to equitable provision in education. Whilst not assuming a simple correspondence between these two transformations, the conditions of their emergence were similar and feminists have been at the forefront of conceptual and strategic responses to equity issues in education. Genealogy marks such transformations as junctures or discontinuities in discourse because the statements and claims that may be uttered now about gender and education, are vastly different to those that could be uttered before the shift in educational provision.

This paper explores points of resonance and tension between feminist and genealogical approaches to issues of gender equity in education. Since both are explicitly concerned with the operations and effects of power and the body in modern society, there juxtaposition is potentially productive and it opens up possibilities for certain questions to be asked about educational provision. Most notably, how does the discourse of gender equity function in the provision of education?