Seminar Series 2011

All are welcome, including our HDR students and any other interested parties. Enquiries to Dr Michiko Weinmann -

Misogyny Posing as Measurement: Disrupting the Feminisation Crisis Discourse

As part of the CREFI Seminar Series 2011, Professor Louise Morley will be presenting:

Feminisation discourses represent a melancholia and nostalgia for patriarchal patterns of participation and exclusion in higher education. It is curious why this formulation has gained currency in the context of higher education today, raising questions about the misogynistic impulse seeking to set a ceiling on women's current success by assuming it must have come about by disadvantaging men. This presentation raises questions about the norms, values and assumptions that underpin the binaried conceptualisation that situates women's achievements in relation to men's putative underperformance. I wish to suggest that feminisation discourses are unsatisfactory as they work with mono-dimensional, stable concepts of identity, ignore intersectionality, are parochial in so far as they fail to examine gender globally, and reduce gender equality to quantification and representation. They exemplify a form of archaism in the midst of the hypermodernisation of higher education.

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Date: Thursday November 24th, 2011
RSVP: Dr Michiko Weinmann, or 03 92517147

Past seminars in 2011

Irish University Senior Management: Still a Man's World?

Professor Pat O'Oconnor, Professor of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Limerick

This paper provides a quantitative picture of the extent to which Irish universities are male dominated at senior management levels; describes their perceived organisational culture in qualitative terms and locates both in an international context. The quantitative data draws on a largely web based study, supplemented by interview data from a purposive sample of 40 people (85 per cent response rate) in senior management positions in all seven Irish universities funded by the state. Those in senior management positions includes those who are or have been at Dean to Presidential level within the previous five years; including men and women; academics and non-academics. The interview schedule used in the qualitative study was devised by the eight country Women in Higher Education Management Network (WHEM). Moving forward from Sinclair's (1998) analytical model, the characteristics of the organisational culture are described. The paper shows that men are more likely than women to deny and the women more likely to name its gendered character. Women and their attitudes and priorities were particularly likely to be seen as the problem by men. There was a striking level of endorsement of various discourses suggesting that having women in senior management made a difference. However (unlike for example, South Africa and Sweden) organisational culture was not seen by these Irish senior managers as characterised by a commitment to change. The paper concludes by suggesting that these patterns are not unrelated to the disinterest of the state in the gender issue.


Navigating Family Trees and Baby Pictures in Canadian Classrooms: The 'Global' Family Goes to School

Associate Professor Linda Laidlaw, PhD
Department of Elementary Education, University of Alberta

Wednesday 23 March 2011, 12:00 - 1:50pm
Melbourne Burwood Campus

In this presentation, I explore the complex relationship between notions of "family" and structures of schooling. This paper interprets the experiences of families of transracially internationally adopted children in Canada and analyzes structures and practices in school that may exclude such children and others from similarly diverse families. Using data from an inquiry tracing how adoptive families and their children negotiate their experiences within Canadian public school systems, the presentation examines how conceptions and models of "family", both through implicit assumption and explicit assertion, contribute to normalizing or exclusionary practices within schools. Within my presentation I will also share some current information, as represented in the most recent Canadian census and provincial adoption statistics, in relation to how family composition is changing within Canadian society. Finally, my presentation will conclude with some specific descriptions of ways in which curriculum might be more inclusive of an increasingly diverse student population.


In conversation with Professor Ivor Reid

Wednesday 16 February 2011 10-11:30am

Discussion topics include:

  • Global issues on access, equity and quality in education
  • Whatever happened to social class?
  • Education Action Zones and Excellence In Cities
  • Why the sociology of education?
  • Conducting research and evaluation with diverse populations
  • Widening participation and student diversity in Higher Education in the UK and India.

Professor Ivan Reid is the Visiting Professor in Education in the Faculty of Education and Theology at York St John University, an Emeritus Professor of Education at Loughborough University and is an Honorary Visiting Professor of the Sociology of Education, in the School of Lifelong Education and Training, at Bradford University. He has over 50 years experience in researching issues of educational opportunity, social inequalities, widening participation, and promoting access. As Director of the Unit for Educational Research and Evaluation at Bradford University he investigated local and national education initiatives for improving education outcomes for the disadvantaged. As an active researcher he lead projects funded by the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Higher Education Agency, local governments, voluntary bodies. His current research involves a project funded by the United Kingdom and India Education Research Initiative. Professor Reid also serves as the Executive Editor of Research in Education and is the Founder Executive Editor of the British Journal of Sociology of Education.



Past Seminars: 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007

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