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Claire Maxwell's introductory comments to the panel Gender and Equality

Claire Maxwell's introductory comments to the panel Gender and Equality

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  • 1. GENDER AND EQUALTY Introductory comments by Claire Maxwell (Institute of Education, Uni. of London)
  • 2. MY OWN STARTING POINT • ‘Alternative narratives’ • How narrating the concept of power – through discursive and embodied practices • Affect is the stimulus for change – leads to an internal conversation which drives practices (not necessarily challenging ‘gender norms’) • Specifically how ‘privilege’ and ‘privileging spaces’ shape the discursive and affective possibilities for practices • New affective attachments are needed – assemblages / emotional geographies within particular spaces to create possibilities for challenging reproductive effects and promoting possibilities for social justice (Maxwell & Aggleton, 2013).
  • 3. THEORETICAL ISSUES – raised by the papers • Consider (in)equalities across a range of domains – public/private; within the ‘private’ sphere. • How broader changes to discourses about and experiences of gender – shape intimate relationships. • What does ‘equality’ mean and what does it mean to different people. • Neoliberal, 2nd wave, post-feminist discourses of inequality are interpreted and practised • How transitions within relationships affect practices of (in)equality • Generational differences (Nielsen, 2013) Affective alignments or disorientations (within someone’s biography, particular experiences – drive different kinds of internal conversations (Maxwell & Aggleton, in press).
  • 4. METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES • Benefits of interviewing couples – together or apart (Allen, 2003; Bjørnholt & Farstad, 2014) • Observation of practices
  • 5. THE VERY PERSONAL NATURE OF SUCH RESEARCH • Sparks personal reflections – what would I have said? How might my partner describe our relationship? Colours the way I engage with the arguments made by each paper. • In my own work with young women and their experiences of their schooling and intimate relationships with parents, friends and sexual partners – engages emotions, memories of myself, aspirations for my daughter, my feminist principles – at times overwhelming, especially in the interview moment itself. • How do Fiona, Monica and Geraldine feel their own biographies, current experiences and emotions shaped the experiences of the research and the contributions they have made?
  • 6. REFERENCES • Allen, L. (2013) ‘Girls Want Sex, Boys Want Love: Resisting Dominant Discourses of (Hetero) Sexuality’, Sexualities, 6(2): 215-236. • Bjørnholt, M. & Farstad, G. R. (2014) ‘‘Am I rambling?’ on the advantages of interviewing couples together’, Qualitative Research, 14(1): 3-19. • Maxwell, C. & Aggleton, P. (eds) (2013) Privilege, Agency and Affect, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. • Maxwell, C. & Aggleton, P. (in press) ‘Agentic practice and privileging orientations among privately educated young women’, The Sociological Review. • Nielsen, H. B. (2013) ‘Gender on class journeys’, in Maxwell, C. and Aggleton, P. (eds) Privilege, Agency and Affect, pp. 202-218, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.