The big chill and ways to warm up the academy: A philosophical inquiry into gendered experiences in higher education

Liz JACKSON, Kanako IDE

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers

Abstract

This paper discusses possible experiences women face in higher education and in philosophy of education from a theoretical perspective, focusing on the philosophies of gender and social relations of Arlie Hochschild and Sara Ahmed, and what Jane Roland Martin calls ‘the chilly climate’ of women students in education. Based on an examination of these theoretical lenses and other empirical sources of evidence relating diverse women’s experiences in academic contexts, the presentation puts forward a number of roles women academics and women students can be said to occupy, willingly and unwillingly, such as sexy girlfriend, supportive mother, sunny daughter, little sister, and ungirly person. Next, the paper discusses political and educational ways that women respond to the chilly climate of education, drawing examples from the field of philosophy of education. The ‘orthodox’ view will combine political activities with academic contributions by engaging in academic work and service related to gender equity in educational and academic spaces. The ‘hermit’ or ‘ascetic’ will attempt in her behaviour to separate the personal sphere of gendered experiences from the professional sphere of academic and professional contributions, attempting to gain greater equity through increasing her authority over time. The ‘geisha’ works to accept, reinforce, and manipulate the structures within the chilly climate to gain greater access within a community. As compared with these three approaches, a fourth possibility is also put forward in line with Martin’s work, which involves gender sensitive education, to engage women and men in enhancing social justice collaboratively through educative dialogue. Copyright © 2017 PESA.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

Citation

Jackson, L., & Ide, K. (2017, December). The big chill and ways to warm up the academy: A philosophical inquiry into gendered experiences in higher education. Paper presented at The 47th Annul Conference of Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia (PESA): Birth, death and rebirth: Does philosophy of education need a new subject? Crowne Plaza, Newcastle, Australia.

Keywords

  • Gender
  • Higher education
  • Identity
  • Social justice
  • Equity
  • Feminist philosophy

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