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ERIC Number: EJ882776
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 48
ISSN: ISSN-0951-8398
Complicating Hetero-Femininities: Young Women, Sexualities and "Girl Power" at School
Charles, Claire Elizabeth
International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education (QSE), v23 n1 p33-47 Jan 2010
This paper is concerned with expanding knowledge of how femininity/sexuality intersections are constituted in secondary schools. Existing studies have drawn upon Judith Butler's notion of a "heterosexual matrix" in order to understand how intersections of femininity/sexuality are produced in schools through normative discourses of heterosexuality and gender. Drawing on "after-queer" theoretical resources from within cultural studies that focus on the deployment of notions of sexuality within constructions of intelligible citizenship, I explore how the femininity/sexuality intersection within secondary schools might be complicated, when the significance of discourses of "girl power", linked with successful neoliberal citizenship, is considered. I analyse young women's discussions of key "girl power" icons in popular culture, generated through fieldwork in an elite girls' school in Australia. Throughout the analysis I explore how understanding intersections of femininity/sexuality in secondary schools requires an analytical framework that can attend to both familiar notions of heterosexuality and gender--and their ongoing currency--as well as how notions of sexuality are mobilized in the production of successful neoliberal girl citizens. I propose that this analytical approach is useful in terms of avoiding the reinscription of sexuality identity categories in education research. (Contains 1 figure and 2 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia