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Reading Education Research - Essay Example

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Reading Education Research

How the Papers Being Compared Discuss Female Educational Opportunities This comparison paper looks at the present state of post-16 educational opportunities for females (Archer et al, 2007) in contrast with those available to them in the 1950 and 1960s in the Post World War II era (Evans, 1991). It is evident that much has flowed under the bridge and the past has contributed to the present in a very effective manner. While the Archer article adopts a more clinical research based stance, the merit of the Evans piece is that it is personal and engaging as well. Only at certain points she guides us as to the points she wants to make. In their paper entitled ‘Class, gender, heterosexuality and schooling: paradoxes within working-class girls' engagement with education and post-16 aspirations’ as published in the British Journal of Sociology of Education of March 2007, the authors discuss ways in which inner-city and ethnically diverse working-class girls' constructions of hetero-femininities mediate and shape their engagement or disengagement with education and schooling. This study was based on data collected from 89 urban working-class youth in London. The authors mainly touched upon three main ways through which these young women used heterosexual femininities to construct capital and generate identity value and worth- these were (1) through investment in appearance using glamorous hetero-femininities, (2) through heterosexual relationships with boyfriends, and (3) through the ‘ladette’ phenomena. They maintain that young women's investments in particular forms of heterosexual working-class femininity can affect very deeply their engagement or disengagement from schooling and education. They focus on the paradoxes that arise when these constructions interact with other oppressive power structures. Class, Gender, Heterosexuality and Schooling Paradoxes- A Detailed Analysis Archer et al. (2007) start off by commenting on the lower academic scores that boys typically achieve compared to girls in the GCSE and other competitive examinations and seek to determine the reasons for this. This underachievement is a cause of concern for many countries- from the UK to New Zealand. However as Epstein and others have noted, it is not as simple as this because a more detailed look indicates that not all boys are doing badly and indeed, not all girls are doing well. There are complexities of social class, gender and ethnicity that underlie these results which must be addressed. Amazingly, Kenway (2003, page ix) found that girls leaving school early had more problems than boys in securing employment. The focus of the Archer et al. paper is on unravelling the hidden issue of the problems that girls face due to disengagement of education and the ensuing inequalities that must be borne by the post 16 female workers. Studies since the 1970s have indicated the peculiar problems faced by girls in relation to romance, relationships with boys, sexuality and marriage as a part of our subculture which impact upon their career choices and aspirations. Not ...Show more


Reading Education Research Name of the Writer Name of the Institution Reading Education Research Introduction Schooling and educational opportunities for females in the UK have undergone a radical change in recent years. Whereas there were relatively few disciplines available where the average middle class female could make her mark and pursue career aspirations in the 1950s and 1960s, the curriculum of today allows the female no shortage of opportunities- be it in engineering, mathematics, sciences or the arts…
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