ERIC Number: EJ718928
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Apr
Reference Count: 63
Mathematical Stories: Why Do More Boys than Girls Choose to Study Mathematics at AS-Level in England?
British Journal of Sociology of Education, v26 n2 p235-251 Apr 2005
In this paper I address the question: How is it that people come to choose mathematics and in what ways is this process gendered? I draw on the findings of a qualitative research study involving interviews with 43 young people all studying mathematics in post-compulsory education in England. Working within a post-structuralist framework, I argue that gender is a project and one that is achieved in interaction with others. Through a detailed reading of Toni and Claudia's stories I explore the tensions for young women who are engaging in mathematics, something that is discursively inscribed as masculine, while (understandably) being invested in producing themselves as female. I conclude by arguing that seeing 'doing mathematics' as 'doing masculinity' is a productive way of understanding why mathematics is so male dominated and by looking at the implications of this understanding for gender and mathematics reform work.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Masculinity, Qualitative Research, Higher Education, Mathematics Education, Gender Differences, Course Selection (Students), Career Choice, Sex Stereotypes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)