Radical Feminist Perspective on Education in the UK

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Updated: Mar 20, 2021
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To conclude, the radical feminist perspective on education in the UK acknowledges that significant economic restructuring, the dismantling of traditional male preserves (in terms of curriculum areas and employment options) alongside the closing of the gender gap, the transformation of family life and the changing role and status of women in society have all contributed to a genderquake effect.

Despite the momentum of change, radical feminists continued to question entrenched notions of gender stereotyping that remained constant in the education system, such as fewer women recruited in science, engineering and technology in higher education and the fact that on vocational courses women were in the overwhelming majority in childcare, hairdressing and beauty courses, while men dominated courses linked to the motor industry, construction and information technology.

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Education through the lens of radical feminism In this section education policy and practice is explored through the lens of radical feminism, a movement of transformative change by women, for women that rose during the ‘second wave’ of feminism circa 1960 (in the UK, USA and Australia) and was heavily influenced by the civil rights movement in America, which was itself a catalyst for a global women’s liberation movement.

Working closely with other academic disciplines such as political theory, literature, history, geography and philosophy, feminist sociological theory sets out to destabilise this narrow vision by shifting the focus from the margins to the centre of the discourse and applying the knowledge and understanding of the experiences and insights of women into a sociological imagination with a focus on gender and education in particular.

In relation to education the radical feminist would argue that from a historical perspective, economic and political structures embedded in patriarchy and implemented by male dominated institutions (the government, funding authorities, local authorities) have compounded gender inequalities resulting in a movement within education to close the ‘gender gap’ (Cruddas and Haddock, 2003).

It can be argued that the previous period of education feminism provided a solid foundation for such successes to become a reality; however, the cost of such successes was apparent to radical feminists and others in the persistence of the ‘glass ceiling’ in senior management positions across most sectors resulting in high achieving women, like Margaret Thatcher, representing an acute minority unable to destabilise the status quo.

This examination will also explore the radical feminist standpoint on historic educational developments in the UK focusing in particular on how girls and young women have experienced the education system.

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Radical Feminist Perspective on Education in the UK. (2021, Mar 20). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/radical-feminist-perspective-on-education-in-the-uk/