Girls, Subjectivity and Language: From Four to Twelve in a Rural School.Report as inadecuate

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This dissertation presents the construction and development of a thesis that investigates links between discourses of gender and the production of writing by girls at primary school. The research took place over three years in a one-teacher rural school in country Victoria (Australia). The girls were aged from four to twelve. The research documents patterns in choices that seven girls made regarding their relationships to patriarchy, phallocentrism, feminisms, and each other. These patterns locate the girls as gendered subjects. Their writing is a cultural artifact representing their constructs, critiques, and resistances of locations. This thesis deals theoretically with language and poststructuralisms, including some psychoanalyses. Methodologically, it selects from micro-ethnographic and deconstructive research strategies to develop feminist poststructuralist theories of construction and repression. A research journal documenting spoken language, practices, and bodies serves as an additional representation of the girl-culture. Conversational interviews in the fourth year of the study provide a further dimension to the data, which represents home- and school-based field work. From descriptions, multiple theories of shifting subjectivities are suggested and exemplified. The thesis is thus an exploration of multiple ways to understand data by subjective engagement with it. As such, the focus of the thesis is on writing and discourse production, both its own and that of the girls. The dissertation contains the following chapters: (1) "A Study of Girls at School and An Exploration of Theories"; (2) "Poststructuralist Theories and Possibilities"; (3) "Methodology: Life-Texts, Writings and Deconstructions"; (4) "Post-Scriptions of Data"; and (5) "Endings." Appendices provide documentation. Includes a bibliography. (BB)

Descriptors: Childrens Writing, Discourse Analysis, Elementary Education, Elementary School Students, Females, Feminist Criticism, Foreign Countries, Gender Issues, Process Approach (Writing), Sex Role, Sexual Identity, Writing Attitudes, Writing Evaluation

Author: Rhedding-Jones, Jeanette


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