Starry eyes and subservient selves: Portraits of 'well-rounded' girlhood in the prospectuses of all-girl elite private schools

Natasha WARDMAN, Rachael HUTCHESSON, Kristina GOTTSCHALL, Christopher DREW, Sue Okerson SALTMARSH

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article continues a discussion about the ways in which gender is constructed in the aesthetic presentation and impression management strategies of elite private schools. While before we focused on the construction and promotion of valorised masculinities in elite private boys school prospectuses (Gottschall, Wardman, Edgeworth, Hutchesson & Saltmarsh, 2010), we now extend that work by investigating the versions of femininity celebrated in the promotional materials of elite girls schools. We also contrast, compare and critique the subjectivities constructed by elite private girls schools in relation to the elite private boys schools. Drawing on feminist and post-structuralist theoretical frames and semiotic techniques, we consider how the text, layout and images of the prospectuses work to legitimate and/or disrupt hegemonic versions of 'well-rounded' femininity predicated on physical beauty, passivity and subservience. Copyright © 2010 Australian Council for Education Research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-261
JournalAustralian Journal of Education
Volume54
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010

Citation

Wardman, N., Hutchesson, R., Gottschall, K., Drew, C., & Saltmarsh, S. (2010). Starry eyes and subservient selves: Portraits of 'well-rounded' girlhood in the prospectuses of all-girl elite private schools. Australian Journal of Education, 54(3), 249-261. doi: 10.1177/000494411005400303

Keywords

  • Educational marketing
  • Private education
  • Femininity
  • Gender stereotypes
  • Social semiotics
  • Service

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