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ERIC Number: EJ880731
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0962-0214
Picturing Success: Young Femininities and the (Im)Possibilities of Academic Achievement in Selective, Single-Sex Education
Allan, Alexandra
International Studies in Sociology of Education, v20 n1 p39-54 Mar 2010
Over the last decade it is young women who have come to be widely understood as the bearers of educational qualifications. It is girls who are now seen to have "the world at their feet" and to be able to attain the glittering prizes of academic success associated with elite universities and top occupations. And it is upper-middle-class girls, in particular, who appear to be achieving the most; a "super class" of pupils who are supposedly able to effortlessly succeed in everything that they do. Drawing on ethnographic data generated during a research project in a single-sex, selective girls' school this paper will explore what it meant for one group of elite girls to achieve and succeed in school. The paper will examine the different versions of success made available to the girls in this school, the girls' differing relations to these discourses and their intersection with other relations of power. The paper will question the popular post-feminist picture of the smart, sassy and successful "top girl" who is able to "have it all" and in the conditions of her own choosing. The paper will suggest that, even for the girls in this school, success was not easy to perform or "own" for oneself. Despite attending a school where success was openly celebrated, the paper will demonstrate the ways in which many girls still felt restricted to perform success in narrow and competitive ways that clashed with dominant discourses of femininity.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom