Introduction - Education and the Global Rural: Feminist Perspectives
MetadataShow full item record
Educational research has primarily been concerned with the urban. It is telling, for example, that so many studies of education in the rural begin by noting the lack of literature on the subject (Howley, Theobald, and Howley 2005; Hargreaves, Kvalsund, and Galton 2009; Schafft and Youngblood Jackson 2010). Even when the rural is invoked in educational research it is 'as mere setting' (Howley 2004, 258) or 'context' (Moletsane and Ntombela 2010, 5). This may go some way to explaining the limited feminist attention to rural education, but we wonder if there are also other factors at play which are worth exploring in this editorial introduction if we are to address this lacuna. One factor that may explain the neglect of the rural by feminist educators is that we have been influenced by stereotypes of rural women and girls as traditional, insular and reactionary, and thus not productive or constructive subjects for feminist inquiry. Just as disability and old age may have been written out of feminist scripts as they sit uneasily with narratives celebrating female power, competence and strength (Fine and Asch 1988; Thomas 2006), rurality may also have been sidelined as denoting conservatism and conformism rather than feminist notions of change and freedom. Of course representations of rural women and girls as apolitical denies the long history of rural women's activism (Pini, Panelli, and Sawer 2008), but such a view remains prevalent and may ( even inadvertently) shape our academic dispositions.
Education and the Global Rural: Feminist Perspectives
Sociology of Education