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Gender and Sexualities in Education

A Reader


Edited By Elizabeth J. Meyer and Dennis Carlson

This volume is about the education of gender and sexualities, which is to say it explores how gender and sexuality identities and differences get constructed through the process of education and «schooling». Wittingly or not, educational institutions and educators play an important role in «normalizing» gender and sexuality differences by disciplining, regulating, and producing differences in ways that are «intelligible» within the dominant or hegemonic culture. To make gender and sexuality identities and differences intelligible through education is to understand them through the logic of separable binary oppositions (man-woman, straight-gay), and to valorize and privilege one normalized identity within each binary (man, straight) and simultaneously stigmatize and marginalize the «other» identity (woman, gay). Educational institutions have been set up to normalize the construction of gender and sexual identities in these ways, and this is both the overt and the «hidden» curriculum of schooling. At the same time, the «postmodern» times in which we live are characterized by a proliferating of differences so that the binary oppositional borders that have been maintained and policed through schooling, and that are central to maintaining highly inequitable power relations and rigid gender roles, are being challenged, resisted, and in other ways profoundly destabilized by young people today.
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About the Editors


Elizabeth J. Meyer is an assistant professor in the School of Education at California Polytechnic State University. She completed her Ph.D. in culture and values in education at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and her M.A. in social foundations of education at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is the author of Gender, Bullying and Harassment: Strategies to End Sexism and Homophobia in Schools (2009) and Gender and Sexual Diversity in Schools (2010), and her research has been published in many academic journals including Gender and Education, Journal of LGBT Youth, Computers and Education, The Clearing House, Cultural Studies ↔ Critical Methodologies, and Learning Landscapes.

Dennis Carlson is a professor of curriculum and the cultural studies of education at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He received his Ph.D. in educational policy studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and taught at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and Rutgers University-Newark before joining the faculty in the Department of Educational Leadership at Miami University. He is the author of Leaving Safe Harbors: Toward a New Progressivism in American Education and Public Life (2003), The Education of Eros: A History of Education and the Problem of Adolescent Sexuality (2012), and Volunteers of America: The Journey of a Peace Corps Teacher (2012). He has co-edited a number of volumes in the cultural studies of education and has published in major scholarly journals, including the Harvard Educational Review and Educational Theory.

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