NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1160306
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0142-5692
Femininity, Science, and the Denigration of the Girly Girl
Francis, Becky; Archer, Louise; Moote, Julie; de Witt, Jen; Yeomans, Lucy
British Journal of Sociology of Education, v38 n8 p1097-1110 2017
Hyper-femininity and the construction of the "girly girl" label have been documented widely, but there has been less attention to their content (or any distinctions between these constructs). Indeed, it can be argued that the content of femininity remains a controversial and somewhat under-researched topic in feminist scholarship. This is also the case in relation to science, which has been widely characterised as a masculine terrain, but there has been less attention to why femininity is excluded from/by science. This article attempts to unpick some of these issues, with a particular focus on the construct of the "girly girl", in relation to access to science. Drawing on qualitative data from the Economic and Social Research Council-funded ASPIRES 2 project, we analyse the discourses used by young people and parents in discussion of "girly girls" and physics. We show the misogynist and excluding discourses projected onto the "girly girl", and indeed that are used to interpolate femininity more broadly. We found that in discussions of science and (hyper-)femininity, even potentially positive feminine attributes were denigrated. Hyper-femininity was produced as "more than lack": vacuous, but also a risible presence. In reflecting on our findings we consider whether femininity may be more derided in some discursive contexts (e.g. science discourse) than others, and whether femininity can or should be conceived as more than lack.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A