Feminine men and masculine women: in/exclusion in the academy

Atkins, Liz and Vicars, Mark (2016) Feminine men and masculine women: in/exclusion in the academy. Education + Training, 58 (3). pp. 252-262. ISSN 0040-0912

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/ET-10-2015-0100

Abstract

Purpose - This paper draws on concepts of ‘female masculinity’ to interrogate how hegemonic gendering discourses, forms, and performances are inscribed in neoliberal narratives of competency in higher education in the Western Hemisphere.

Design - Drawing on individual examples, we consider how these narratives are omnipresent in the sector, and systematically act to exclude those who do not conform. In doing so, we draw extensively on bodies of literature exploring gender/ identity, and neo-liberalism. In particular, the paper draws on the work of Halberstam (1998, 2011), and of Drake (2014).

Findings - There are comparatively few women in senior positions in Higher Education and we argue that as gendering institutions they reproduce hegemonic gendering discourses. We find that hegemonic gendering discourses are instrumental in maintaining and privileging specific forms and perceptions of masculinity and femininity as inscribed within and reproduced by perceptions of professional competency.

Value - This paper examines neo-liberal practices from a more nuanced perspective than some traditional polarised critiques which regard gender as a binary. In doing so, it contributes to debates on masculinity, but more importantly, opens discussions about the implications of gendering discourses for the role of the few women in senior positions in higher education institutions globally.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Masculinities, Identity, Neo-liberalism, Hegemony, Discourses
Subjects: L300 Sociology
X900 Others in Education
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2015 10:12
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2017 16:46
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/24661

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