They all look at gender identities experiences agency subjectivity discourse

They all look at gender identities experiences agency

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the systematic power of the state and society. They all look at gender identities, experiences, agency, subjectivity, discourse, power and knowledge in wider social, economic and political relations. For example, Marshall (1997) developed a form of feminist critical policy analysis to add critical issues and ways of framing questions about power, justice and the state in gender equality education policy. Kenway et al. (1998) intended to see broader patterns of power, to be precisely, the policy process of gender reform within and across schools by employing post-structuralist theories of policy. Kenway et al. (ibid.) indicated the availability of feminist post-structuralist theory in gender policies in school settings: Feminist post-structuralism led us to conceptualise gender reform as a political process of making and remaking meaning in schools in ways which sought to challenge the unequal gender settlements of particular schools and their localities as well as those of wider society; Further, it led us to portray gender reform as a discursive field within which meanings about gender reform itself were constantly negotiated and contested; a field in which truths are made and remade. Post-structuralist theories of policy appear an appropriate departure for my research questions. Following their footsteps, this paper sets out with the feminist post- structuralist perspective, attempting to rebuild the gap between policy-making and practice through micro-level fieldwork. Although this approach remains developing, 4
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yet incomplete, ‘a better understanding of the complex and subtle nuances of the policy process will help to facilitate the broad feminist project’ (Kenway, 1990: 7). It is noteworthy that theories themselves are not used as either lens or frameworks to look at my data; rather, they function as approaches to probing and ruminating data. Presumably theories may be further modified or sophisticated through theories being re-examined by data collected from fieldwork. Quite a few policy sociologists argue that interview can offer insights into policy; moreover, it is useful in building the gap between micro/macro, explanatory/descriptive and theoretical framework/empirical data (Lee, 2006). In this sense, interview becomes one of my crucial methods to probe research questions. With semi-structured interview, in particular, I could be freer to ‘probe beyond the answers in a manner which would appear prejudicial to the aims of standardization and comparability’ (May, 2001: 123). The sampling strategies to be used in my research are purposive and snowball. Purposive sampling, which Maxwell (1998: 87 adapted from Patton, 1990: 169) terms ‘purposeful sampling’, is a strategy in which ‘researchers handpick the causes to be included in the sample on the basis of their judgement of their typicality’ (Cohen et al. 2000: 103). Snowball sampling 8 is used as a complementary tool in this research. For this paper, I interviewed with 12 schoolteachers, 5 administrators, and 2 headteachers. Apart from that, I sat in on staff meetings and in-service teacher training courses, observed school activities, and collected school documents. I also hosted study groups for teachers, by which not
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  • Spring '14
  • Gender Equity Education

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