Becoming schoolgirls: the ambivalent project of subjectification

Davies, Bronwyn and Dormer, Suzy and Gannon, Sue and Laws, Cath and Rocco, Sharn and Taguchi, Hillevi Lenz and McCann, Helen (2001) Becoming schoolgirls: the ambivalent project of subjectification. Gender and Education, 13 (2). pp. 167-182. ISSN 0954-0253


In this article, the authors examine the concept and practices of subjectification; that is, the processes through which we are subjected, and actively take up as our own the terms of our subjection. They use Judith Butler’s theorising of subjection both as a starting point for working with their own memories of being subjected in school settings, and as the theoretical basis of their analysis of subjectification. Their method of working, which they refer to as collective biography, is derived from Haug et al.’s methods developed in Female Sexualization. Their memories focus on aspects of the achievement of the individual, appropriate(d) schoolgirl subject who simultaneously constitutes herself and is constituted through discourse. They analyse the illusion of autonomy through which modern subjects are made possible, and the inevitable ambivalence that is experienced as schoolgirls take themselves up appropriately within the possibilities made available to them. Through re-membering their own pasts, and the embodied and emotional detail through which we became (and go on becoming) subjects, they open up for inspection the contradictory ground of the humanist subject, and in particular the feminine humanist subject, as it is achieved in educational settings.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Education (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Education (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2007 11:47
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2018 02:56
Uncontrolled Keywords: feminist theory; gender; expectations; biography; memory writing
Fields of Research (2008): 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200205 Culture, Gender, Sexuality
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170105 Gender Psychology
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130308 Gender, Sexuality and Education
Fields of Research (2020): 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4405 Gender studies > 440599 Gender studies not elsewhere classified
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5205 Social and personality psychology > 520502 Gender psychology
39 EDUCATION > 3904 Specialist studies in education > 390406 Gender, sexuality and education
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939904 Gender Aspects of Education
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