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ERIC Number: EJ919268
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0954-0253
Commentary on Susan Isaacs
Martin, Jane
Gender and Education, v23 n2 p215-218 2011
A central principle of 1970s feminism was a concern with making women visible and the historical creation of women's public voices is an important methodological premise of feminist research. When written, biographies of female actors "recovered" from the condescension of posterity, can illuminate the telling of individual and collective pasts, of making histories, theory and practice. Giving them the potential to contribute to a wider conversation about how archives are constructed, one that challenges the traditional claims to objectivity about the narratives and the documents that are "found" there. Conventional narratives for women have shaped the telling of women's lives. In the past, where written at all, biographies of women have been written under constraints of acceptable discussion, of agreement about what can be left out. Carolyn Heilbrun (1989) notes the difficulties for women in finding a narrative for the female self that does not flout contemporary conventions and stereotypes about femininity and the appropriate behaviour of women in some crucial way. A strategic presentation of self may result. A self-representation shaped by prevailing assumptions about women's social and cultural positioning with implications for the claim of achievement, the admission of ambition, and the recognition that accomplishment was neither luck, nor the result of the efforts, or generosity, of others. The practice of writing about oneself both reflected and defined questions about women's place in cultural production and literary traditions and the ways in which masculinity and femininity was represented culturally. In this article, the author considers the effect of Susan Isaacs's gender on the telling of her past.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Adult Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom