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ERIC Number: EJ876696
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 59
ISSN: ISSN-0305-764X
Constructions of Mathematicians in Popular Culture and Learners' Narratives: A Study of Mathematical and Non-Mathematical Subjectivities
Moreau, Marie-Pierre; Mendick, Heather; Epstein, Debbie
Cambridge Journal of Education, v40 n1 p25-38 Mar 2010
In this paper, based on a project funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council considering how people position themselves in relation to popular representations of mathematics and mathematicians, we explore constructions of mathematicians in popular culture and the ways learners make meanings from these. Drawing on an analysis of popular cultural texts, we argue that popular discourses overwhelmingly construct mathematicians as white, heterosexual, middle-class men, yet also construct them as "other" through systems of binary oppositions between those doing and those not doing mathematics. Turning to the analysis of a corpus of 27 focus groups with school and university students in England and Wales, we explore how such images are deployed by learners. We argue that while learners' views of mathematicians parallel in key ways popular discourses, they are not passively absorbing these as they are simultaneously aware of the cliched nature of popular cultural images. (Contains 13 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom; United Kingdom (England); United Kingdom (Wales)