23 SES 04 A, Education, Social Inequalities and Gender I
My research is an analysis of how adults attain knowledge about gender and gender competence. From an empirical perspective I investigate the reasons for which individuals are lead to reflect upon gender relations as well as how to transfer this knowledge into agency.
Political achievements of the women’s movement and theoretical developments in gender studies (queer theory, intersectional approach) as well as economic and cultural changes, have influenced the thinking about gender issues as well as how this is acted upon. In equal opportunities policies in the last years in the EU, such as Gender Mainstreaming (established in the Treaty of Amsterdam 1997), gender competence and gender knowledge are defined throughout Europe as key competences and as official learning objectives within adult education. Yet the topic gender is still a socio-political competitive terrain: Media discourses launch re-traditionalism, biologism and anti-feminism as well as equal opportunities policies and gender theory.
- How do those developments and antagonisms become apparent in the individual reflections of learning processes?
- Which opportunities, contradictions, and resistances regarding the learning process are marked by learners and teachers/trainers?
From the perspective of the subject-scientific learning theory (Subjektwissenschaft) learning follows the experience of discrepancy. This experience works as a trigger to pause, to step out of the all-day-routine and insert a “learning loop” (Holzkamp 2004: 28). The purpose and goal of this acting is always the subject’s participation in society. Holzkamp calls “expansive learning” (Holzkamp 1993: 26) the overcoming of obstacles which leads to an extending of available agency. One difficulty with Holzkamp’s subject orientated learning theory is that only intentional learning can be focused (Haug 2003). According to a gender-perspective, it is also crucial to survey informal learning. The issues of informal learning processes are specially broached within the topic of “Lifelong learning” (Kaschuba 2005).
Following Lorber, in this paper, gender is considered a social institution? (Lorber et al. 1999). Accordingly, the bipolar gender system is understood as an expression of historically developed, social economic and political processes and structures. A critical usage of gender aims at a weakening of relevance of the category (Lorber 2000). Gender is entangled with and interdependently connected to other societal frameworks and thus with other categories of inequality (for example class, ethnicity, sexuality) (Walgenbach et al. 2007). Increasingly rapid transformation processes of global economic circumstances underline the importance of an approach that also focuses on interdependencies (Knapp et al. 2003). In the academic discourse this was first known as “intersectionality” (Crenshaw 1989).
Gender experts complain about less interest in the last years, although the societal situation didn’t change much. As different studies show, a gender bias in adult education (Pravda 2003, Venth 2006) still exists. With my study I seek to explore subjective perspectives on the reasons for gender learning, with the aim to enhance and maybe renew the possibilities of gender education and therefore those of gender mainstreaming within adult education.
Ciupke, Paul; Derichs-Kunstmann, Karin (Hg.) (2001): Frauenbildung in der Geschichte der Erwachsenenbildung Crenshaw, Kimberlé (1989): Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex. A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine Derichs-Kunstmann, Karin (2006): Genderkompetenz als Schlüsselkompetenz für politische Bildung Gieseke, Wiltrud (2000): Politische Frauenbildung Haug, Frigga (2003): Lernverhältnisse. Selbstbewegungen und Selbstblockierungen Holzkamp, Klaus (2004): Wider den Lehr-Lern-Kurzschluß Faulstich, Peter; Ludwig, Joachim (Hg.) (2004): Expansives Lernen Kaschuba, Gerrit (2005): Theoretische Grundlagen einer geschlechtergerechte Didaktik. Knapp, Gudrun-Axeli (2008): Give Sex, Gender and Sexuality more of a Society: Zur Standortbestimmung feministischer Theorie Knapp, Gudrun-Axeli; Wetterer, Angelika (Hg.) (2003): Achsen der Differenz Gesellschaftstheorie und feministische Kritik II Lorber, Judith (2000): Using gender to undo Gender Lorber, Judith (1999): Gender-Paradoxien Pravda, Gisela (2003): Die Genderperspektive in der Weiterbildung. Soiland, Tove (2008): Die Verhältnisse gingen und die Kategorien kamen Sotelo, Elisabeth de (Hg.)(2000): Frauenweiterbildung Venth, Angela (2006): Gender-Porträt Erwachsenenbildung Walgenbach, Katharina; Dietze, Gabriele; Hornscheidt, Antje, et al. (Hg.) (2007): Gender als interdependente Kategorie
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