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ERIC Number: EJ879556
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 47
ISSN: ISSN-0882-4843
The Role of Gender in Making Meaning of Texts: Bodies, Discourses, and Ways of Reading
Bender-Slack, Delane
Feminist Teacher: A Journal of the Practices, Theories, and Scholarship of Feminist Teaching, v20 n1 p15-27 2009
Studies on gender discourses in classrooms have specifically examined how students negotiate their individual gender identities while disregarding their lived realities within a historical context. Nevertheless, although it is difficult and uncomfortable for them, students' responses to discussing gender reveal that the discourse positively changes students' attitudes and improves reflection. A goal of this article is to extend the dialogue on classroom discourse about gender by examining how students understand literature in the context of these gender discussions. Understanding literature is not about making meaning found in the text itself, but rather it is a creative action, a transaction between the text and the reader that produces meaning. Consequently, how a text is understood is determined in part by who is engaged in the act of reading at a particular place in a particular time. When literature is discussed in the classroom, how a text is understood is also determined by who is engaging in that discourse. Perhaps including gender as a discussion topic is not as important as how students talk about gender and how it impacts the participants in that discussion. Consequently, feminist standpoint theory is a useful lens for examining the classroom discourse about gender because it is one way of connecting feminist knowledge and women's experiences to the realities of gendered social relations. Due to the diversity of women and women's lived experiences, the context of discovery (what one wants to know) and the context of justification (why it matters) will be multiple and complex. In this article, the author shows that in the case of this study, this feminist standpoint is determined and impacted by bodies, discourses, and ways of reading. (Contains 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A