By Gill Hopper

Why do ladies examine paintings and why do women turn into basic lecturers? This booklet examines and divulges the strong impression of the kinfolk, the varsity and the country in shaping girl id and developing notions of gender appropriateness. It additionally discusses the prestige of artwork in class and the placement of girls artists in society.

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Additional resources for Art, Education and Gender: The Shaping of Female Ambition

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An understanding of how gender is produced in social situations will afford clarification of the interactional scaffolding of social structure and the social control processes that sustain it. (West and Zimmerman, 1991: 34) It is therefore possible to identify how the social order of schools and the evolution of gendered subjects might contribute to, shape and reinforce young people’s notion of gender appropriateness, which in turn informs and potentially limits subject and career choices. The main tenet of my study (Hopper, 2011) was that female students today who pursue an interest in art and then go into a career in primary teaching are conforming to, and confirming, the gendered expectations of society.

Bourdieu (2001) noted that sexuality, although increasingly free from marital obligation, is ‘still ordered by and subordinated to the transmission of the patrimony through marriage, which remains one of the legitimate routes for the transfer of wealth’ (Bourdieu, 2001: 97). Thus, upper class families continue to invest in matrimonies that aim to conserve wealth (economic capital) and lineage (symbolic capital). The value of a woman’s maternal role is in general recognised and celebrated by all classes – but only as secondary to the activities of production, which are economically and socially sanctioned and ordered in relation to the material and symbolic interest of men.

Because daily domestic work remains largely unnoticed, deprecated and without monetary value, it is denied its true importance even in the eyes of women. Women invariably give or are expected to ‘serve’ without reward or limits (as noted in Lyonette’s 2015 study) Identity 29 first their family members (particularly children), since a mother’s or housewife’s time is easily interrupted, and then voluntary and charitable organisations. Bourdieu (2001) sees the social world, where the production and reproduction of the symbolic capital of the family is initially realised through its visual appearance (clothes, hairstyle, cosmetics, jewellery and so on) as a market in symbolic goods that is dominated by a masculine vision.

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