ERIC Number: EJ1071509
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
Performatively Queer: Sole Parent Postgraduates in the Australian Academy
Hook, Genine A.
Higher Education Research and Development, v34 n4 p788-800 2015
This paper draws on research that considers how gender and agency influence the engagement of sole parent postgraduates within the Australian academy. I argue that parental care responsibilities critically influence participation in higher education for sole parents. I suggest that the gendered construct of caring for children is a feminine performative which significantly determines how sole parents are able to engage with postgraduate education. By exploring motherhood practices and discourses as performatively queer, I am able to draw attention to everyday operations of motherhood and also begin to disrupt the naturalised link between female bodies and their care of children. This queering analysis aims to re-frame gendered constructs of feminine caring of children which significantly shapes participation and orientations towards higher education. Queer theory usefully investigates naturalised, so-called common-sense identity markers, including those re-inscribing gender. I suggest that "motherhood" equals feminine and that this powerful gendered social construction is an important site of critique. I suggest that sole parenting can be materially different because it is often experienced through intensified levels of childcare, domestic and financial management responsibilities. I argue that this increased level of childcare, household work and financial responsibility has material implications for sole parent's time, energy and engagement with postgraduate education.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Gender Differences, One Parent Family, Graduate Students, Parent Responsibility, Gender Issues, Mothers, Social Theories, Females, Child Rearing, Femininity, Case Studies, Family School Relationship
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia