33 SES 10 A, Gender Inequality in Higher Education
The spatial dimension of the experience of living spaces in gender-proof teenagers is the starting point for our analysis. Attention is focused on the gendered dynamics of adolescent life practices within French secondary schools.
In France, the “college” (French secondary schools) is the major place of horizontal socialization where teenagers rub shoulders with their peers and integrate the norms of collective life for 4 years. It is also the social space of bodily co-presence between girls and boys, where sexual co-existence is the institutional norm. Paradoxically, the sexual dimension of co-presence is erased by the institution because it "is the object of pure and simple negation: we would only be dealing with 'pupils' and 'teachers' (both asexual)" (Lelièvre and Lec, 2005, p.73) and without siblings. Yet school is a social space where gendered roles are reproduced and internalized, in keeping with the gendered asymmetry (Ayral, 2011) of the social world, which Duru-Bellat calls "the implicit facet of the pupil's profession". Through multiple everyday situations, this school socialization is a process of constructing gendered differences, or even a strong opposition between the sexes, which divide school spaces into "two distinct spaces" (Dubet and Martucelli, 1996) of social experience.
The daily experiences where each sex is seen (Goffman, 2002) in the social space of the college are distributed according to location (classroom, recreation space, space near the college) and school time (day, school year). Our research focuses on a specific space, the playground. How are gender social relations daily processes of production of gendered inequalities in a supervised social space? This part of our research is based both on observation times and on the discourse (qualitative surveys conducted among 70 pupils in seven collèges over a one-year period from 25/11/2015 to 10/11/2016 with a period of three to six months to conduct interviews and observations per collège) of the respondents (school actors and pupils).
The playground is a place for non-teaching activities that nevertheless represents a highly ritualized time of school socialization (Delalande, 2001). It is a place for self-experimentation in the social world. This space is then appropriated, not in its entirety, but in different clusters of activities and peer groups. In the discourses, the playground is perceived as a functional space, fragmented according to the street furniture (benches, tables), the sports equipment available (sports platforms) and the architecture of the buildings (nooks, crannies, stairs, corridors). These objects are all spatial units assigned to one or even several socializing functions that generate gender inequalities. Given the particularities of spatial layout and the socializing role of this space, to what extent do the functionality of the playground's spatial units produce gendered differences? Any spatial practice requires mastery of the space or even portions of the playground.
The combination of survey methods allows us to better grasp the scientific object of our research. It consists of four types of material: questionnaires, interviews, teenager generated plans and in situ observations. This approach, which addresses both space and gender in adolescence, raises particular questions of methodology and the development of an analytical grid. For this reason, our research approach is based on a mixed method of quantitative and qualitative approaches, i.e. the combination of statistical analysis (quantitative data) and field surveys (qualitative data) to study the process of constructing a space of one's own during adolescence. This methodological approach is also based on different geographical scales. The questionnaire survey consisted in collecting a significant amount of information in seven colleges in Calvados and La Manche (Normandy Region). Questionnaires were distributed in seven eighth grade classes followed by interviews with 70 pupils and 10 school actors (education assistants, head teachers, CPE) between November 2015 and October 2016. First of all, the quantitative survey sheds light on phenomena that contribute to the construction of adolescents' living spaces. This initial approach based on explanatory variables is combined with semi-directive interviews. These interviews focus on the interweaving of the individual's life scales, the intimate relationship that the teenager has with places, familiar spaces or repulsive spaces. Interviews with school actors enabled us to compare and contrast the school institution's representations of the young people it supervises. Then, direct observation sessions of the schoolyard and the production of shots by the respondents are research methods that question the relationships between juvenile behaviour and other types of data in order to study the validity of our starting hypothesis/ in order to test the accuracy of our research hypothesis. Indeed, they aim to highlight the diversity of adolescents' trajectories and the social and spatial mechanisms that explain them. Consequently, this methodological approach to our research covered different types and degrees of observations. The overall objective of this combined survey method is to seek complementary analyses in order to fully grasp the multifaceted and segmented nature of young people's experiences.
Gender is thus indeed one of the main factors of school differentiation (Baudelot and Establet, 2007) within the playground, as shown by the plans and discourses resulting from our surveys. This micro-public space is a space where the spatiality of the individual is an identity marker that provides information on school age, sex, the peer group attended and the peer group avoided, and the social integration of each individual practising this space. Each spatial entity in the playground is a terrain for self-experimentation in an teenager social world. These spatial entities are areas (sports field, foyer, lawn), breaks (barrier, bench, low wall), micro-places (table, concentration of several benches in one place) that require the acquisition of specific spatial skills to be practiced and appropriate. These skills are also social because the social and gendered hierarchy of the court imposes a spatial segregation of places according to the identity of the person. Every pupil is therefore a space operator who, through their actions, places themselves symbolically within the school space, more precisely in a part of it. Consequently, each spatial arrangement is attached to a lived and perceived experience. The spatial arrangement of the sexes is unequal through the very actions of the pupils inasmuch as the spatial resources of the yard are appropriated in micro-territories that are exclusive and identitary to a group of individuals, according to sex and school age. Maccoby (1990 and 1999) then refers to the "spontaneous segregation" that young people reproduce in their perception of gender differences outside school. We therefore find major areas of socialization gendered and compartmentalized. Thus, this spontaneous segregation is collective and not individual (Maccoby, 1990 and 1999) linked to the spatial constraint of bodies.
Ayral S. (2011), La fabrique des garçons. Sanctions et genre au collège, Paris, PUF. Baudelot C. et Establet R. (2007), Quoi de neuf chez les filles ? Entre stéréotypes et libertés, Paris, Nathan. Delalande J. (2001), La cour de récréation. Pour une anthropologie de l’enfance, Rennes, PUR. Dubet F. et Martucelli D. (1996), À l’école. Sociologie de l’expérience scolaire, Paris, Le Seuil. Goffman E. (2002), L’arrangement des sexes, traduit de l’anglais (États-Unis) par Hervé Maury, Paris, La Dispute/Cahiers du CEDREF. Lelièvre C et Lec F. (2005), Les profs, l’école et la sexualité, Paris, Odile Jacob. Maccoby E. E. (1990), « Le sexe catégorie sociale », « Masculin, Féminin », Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, n°84. Maccoby E. E. (1999), The Two Sexes. Growing Up Apart. Coming Together, Cambridge Massachusetts, Harvard University Press.
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