GENDER AND EQUALTY
Introductory comments by Claire Maxwell (Institute of Education, Uni. of London)
MY OWN STARTING POINT
• ‘Alternative narratives’
• How narrating the concept of power – through discursive and embodied
• 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 &
THEORETICAL ISSUES – raised by the
• Consider (in)equalities across a range of domains – public/private; within the
• How broader changes to discourses about and experiences of gender – shape
• What does ‘equality’ mean and what does it mean to different people.
• Neoliberal, 2nd wave, post-feminist discourses of inequality are interpreted and
• 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
• Benefits of interviewing couples – together or apart (Allen, 2003; Bjørnholt &
• Observation of practices
THE VERY PERSONAL NATURE OF
• 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
• 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?
• 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
• Nielsen, H. B. (2013) ‘Gender on class journeys’, in Maxwell, C. and Aggleton,
P. (eds) Privilege, Agency and Affect, pp. 202-218, Basingstoke: Palgrave