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ERIC Number: EJ1154512
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0954-0253
"The Pen is the Spear of Today": (Re)producing Gender in the Maasai Schooling Setting
Archambault, Caroline S.
Gender and Education, v29 n6 p731-747 2017
An essentialist, "traditional", Maasai gender ideology that poorly reflects the day-to-day gender realities of residents is being reproduced and dominating in the modern schooling setting of a Maasai community in Southern Kenya. Through an ethnographic analysis based on long-term fieldwork and mixed-method approaches, this paper explores the construction of this gender ideology as reflected in schooling aspirations of parents, teachers, and students, in students' own constructions of masculinity and femininity, and in school culture. This ideology functions to promote education as a means of cultural preservation and livelihood protection by drawing schooling into the Maasai's unique age-set system and warrior tradition, which is heavily imbued with particular gender constructions. While, arguably, maintaining this traditional ideology may conflict with broader goals of empowerment and social equity for Maasai women, it may serve to facilitate schooling for young girls, off-set increasing and burdensome responsibilities, and provide them with an attainable femininity.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Kenya
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A