The submergence and re-emergence of gender in undergraduate accounts of university experience

Francis, B., Burke, P. and Read, B. (2014) The submergence and re-emergence of gender in undergraduate accounts of university experience. Gender and Education, 26(1), pp. 1-17. (doi: 10.1080/09540253.2013.860433)

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Gender distinction has been shown to characterise both undergraduate experiences and outcomes. Yet research recounted in this article supports work that shows that young people are often unaware of such trends, subscribing instead to individualist perspectives that foreground equality of opportunity and agency. This article examines the gender continuities and divergences in 64 undergraduate students' accounts of their experiences, and constructions of peers and lecturers, in higher education. Concepts of heteroglossia and monoglossia are applied to gender to explain how students submerged ‘structure’ and inequality in their accounts, but how discourses that presented the genders as distinct (and in which the masculine is elevated over the feminine) nevertheless ‘bubbled up’ in their articulations. The students tended to reject the notion that gender and other structural differences impact their experiences and outcomes; yet their broader discussions frequently reflected (often stereotypical) monoglossic constructions of gender difference. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications of these findings for the sociology of education and for higher-education pedagogy.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Read, Professor Barbara
Authors: Francis, B., Burke, P., and Read, B.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Educational Leadership & Policy
Journal Name:Gender and Education
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1360-0516

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