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Love and acceptance through the eyes of a mother of sexual and gender minority children
What would you do if your child told you that he or she had something “very difficult” to tell you? How would you respond? Would you sit down and try to understand what your child was trying to communicate to you? Would you respond in anger, judgment, or irritation? Would you even give your child your full attention? And after listening to your child, would you attempt to ignore, dismiss, or even deny what your child was trying to tell you?
These are important questions for all parents to ask—and answer—because it is vitally important that parents understand how to respond to the significant questions that our children present to us with care and consideration. This understanding is especially critical for parents who are faced with the additional—and unexpected—challenge of how to respond when what is so “very difficult” for their child to tell them is that he or she is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning their identity (LGBTQ).
Given the strong societal stigma against the LGBTQ population, as well as the lack of education with respect to parenting skills, sexuality, gender, and identity development, many parents feel overwhelmed, ashamed, and isolated. As a result, despite coming out in increasing numbers, almost half of LGBTQ youth face an uncertain future due to parental and societal rejection.
A Soul Has No Gender is the story of one mother’s inquiry into her experience of coming to accept the sexual and gender identities of her fraternal twins, who are lesbian and female-to-male transgender, and how the experience transformed not only her relationships with her children, but with herself as well.
Education and Society in sub-Saharan Africa
Editor: Máiréad Dunne
This book provides a timely contribution to the field of gender and development in the face of the looming failure of international development targets, the deepening HIV/AIDS pandemic and the increased incidence of civil conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The overall ambition of the collection is to question assumptions behind much development policy and practice and to push out conceptual boundaries by providing critical insights from local empirical studies that bring new theoretical configurations to specific policy and practice contexts. The chapter contributions are from African and ‘Northern’ writers who have critically engaged with the ways that gendered and sexual identities are produced in particular educational and social settings in this diverse continent. After providing a consolidation of the field, the book highlights its departures from earlier work on gender, education, society and development to open spaces that provide a springboard for further research and critique around persistent and enduring development issues.
Following two introductory chapters, the text is organised in four main sections concerning gendered institutions, sexual identities, HIV/AIDS and conflict. In addressing such critical issues, this edited collection is essential reading for professionals, policy-makers, practitioners and students from a wide range of institutions including government departments, international agencies, NGOs and universities in Sub-Saharan Africa as well as in other low and high income countries worldwide.
Transforming Learners in Higher Education
Global and local studies show that the present growth-based approach to development is unsustainable. If we are serious about surviving the 21st century we will need graduates who are not simply 'globally portable' or even 'globally competent', but also wise global citizens, Globo sapiens. This book contributes to what educators need to know, do and be in order to support transformative learning.
The book is based on work with large, socially and culturally diverse, first-year engineering students at an Australian university of technology. It shows that reflective journals, with appropriate planning and support, can be one pillar of a transformative pedagogy which can encourage significant and even transformative attitude change in relation to gender, culture and the environment. It also offers evidence of improved communication skills and other tangible changes to counter common criticisms that such work is "airy-fairy" and irrelevant.
The author combines communication theory with critical futures thinking to provide layered understandings of how transformative learning affected students’ thinking, learning and behaviour. So the book is both a case-study and a detailed response to the personal and professional challenges that educators all over the world will face as they try to guide students in sustainable directions.
Legacies for Social Change
From a rationale of multiculturalism and a based on systemic approach grounded in the Arab-Islamic tradition, this book integrates history, education, science, and feminism to understand the implications of culture in social change, cultural identity, and cultural exchange. Dr. Belhachmi’s praxis maintains the relationship between socio-political movements, and their corollary scientific movements to explain women’s role in social change of the Arab-Islamic world; thus linking the region’s past and the present in a historical continuum. In one masterful move, she immediately engages into a discovery -journey of the 13 century old Arab-Islamic socio-cultural and intellectual history; thus exploring the independent Arab-Islamic Worldview of development, modernism, science, education, and discusses the corollary socio-political and reform movements that integrated women in the region’s governance over time. Thus, she not only highlights women’s involvement in social change as a recurrent cyclical phenomenon in the region, but also chronicles the women-led independent 120 years of Arab-Islamic feminist science.
Above all, Dr. Belhachmi offers an innovative operational three-levelled model of analysis of education and feminist practice that reconciles particularism and universalism, and yields to systemic analyses of women in education cross-culturally. In doing so, the book shifts focus from the “woman’s question” into the more radical issues of “women’s science” in the Arab-Islamic culture; illustrating with the work of al-Sa'dawi (Egypt) and Mernissi (Morocco). As such this study is both a groundbreaking epistemological study on the role Arab-Muslim women and social change over time, and an essential textbook on women in contemporary Arab-Islamic education, and social sciences.
In a tour de force, Dr. Belhachmi reclaims Arab-Islamic feminist scientific legacy as organic to the region’s institutional memory and its collective cultural reference, while restoring to Arab-Muslim women feminists; including herself, their epistemic space within the contemporary multi-discursive practice/space of international feminism.; thus offering us a timely pioneering book on Arab-Islamic feminist epistemology. Equally, she provides us with a new scientific framework for self-representation and cultural exchange much needed both in international education and “a new feminist international order.”
In brief, this is an original scholarly work that provides us with creative empowerment methods, qualitative methodologies and holistic conceptual tools; thus enabling us to re-think our “rapport to knowledge” and the place of knowledge itself and how its related research strategies can move us beyond the pitfalls of cultural relativism and scientism. As such, this is an invaluable addition to the literature on the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) that will benefit the layman tremendously; and a must reference for specialists and students alike.
Educating for the Good Society
This book looks to feminist utopian thinking to seek alternative conceptualisations of the issue of gender and education. We are currently faced with a situation where the issue of gender has become one of competing needs. Debates on gender have swung from a concern for the progress of girls and women to a ‘moral panic’ about the lack of engagement of boys in education. The formulation of policy that swings from concerns and initiatives to support the educational progress of girls and women to a crisis about the engagement of boys and young men in education is ultimately to the detriment of both genders, to the educational system and to society as a whole. There is an urgent need for us to consider alternative approaches to the issue of gender and education. In utopian writing, education has been constructed as one of the means of bringing about ‘the good society’ but importantly within feminist utopian writing and thinking what we understand as ‘education’ is itself being transformed. In feminist utopian thinking, side by side with a critique of formal educational institutions, there is an attempt to think more holistically about the relationship between the educative process and the achievement of girls’ and women’s self-determination both individually and collectively to bring about a realignment of gender relationships in the sociopolitical order. This book draws from the debates about gender in the visions of alternative sociopolitical orders found in feminist utopian thinking to explore the issue of gender and education. This book will be of special relevance to those interested in feminism, gender studies, educational futures and utopian thinking.
Since the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone came out in the United States in 1997; it and the six subsequent volumes have been on the New York Times bestsellers list continuously. Harry Potter no longer solely exists in books; he is everywhere dominating our world and our children’s worlds, which is why it is important to analyze just what Harry Potter is teaching our children. Although the Harry Potter series has been critiqued and analyzed by journalists and academics alike, there are fascinating gaps in the analyses. Perhaps the most rousing of these gaps is the virtual lack of attention to the ways in which J. K. Rowling has constructed gender, and the agency of the female characters, within the texts. The purpose of this book is to address this rousing gap, by critically deconstructing the representation of women’s agency by the female characters in the Harry Potter books 2-6. The study draws on all of the pre-existing theories, frameworks, underpinnings and themes that came out of the analysis that were set forth in the pilot study/first book that critically deconstructed the first Harry Potter book. There are many different books that discuss the Harry Potter phenomenon, but rarely do they analyze the books through a social justice lens, specifically looking at gender.
Learning Identity, Gender, and Power via Engineering Practice
On the Outskirts of Engineering: Learning Identity, Gender, and Power via Engineering Practice falls at the intersection of research about women in sites of technical practice and ethnographic studies of learning in communities of practice. Grounded in long-term participation on student teams completing real-world projects for industry and government clients, Outskirts provides an insider look at forms of engineering practice—the cultural production of engineer identity, of the ways that gender is made real in such sites of practice, and of power relations that emerge in response to enculturated practices that organize everyday life. Outskirts contributes to understanding cultural obduracy and the movement of some men and most women to the outskirts of engineering.
Visual Methodologies for Social Change
Getting the picture, constructing (and deconstructing) the picture, finding the picture, viewing the picture, being in the picture, changing the pictures—these are all phrases that apply to the fascinating world of ‘putting people in the picture’ in visual research within the Social Sciences. Putting People in the Picture: Visual Methodologies for Social Change focuses on the ways in which researchers, practitioners and activists are using such techniques as photo voice, collaborative video, drawings and other visual and arts-based tools as modes of inquiry, as modes of representation and as modes of disseminating findings in social research. The various chapters address methodological, analytical, interpretive, aesthetic, technical and ethical concerns in using visual methodologies in work with young people, teachers, community health care workers—and even the self-as-researcher. The range of issues addressed in the work is broad, and includes work in the areas of HIV & AIDS, schooling, poverty, gender violence, race, and children’s visions for the future. While the studies are situated within a variety of social contexts, the focus is primarily on work in Southern Africa. The book takes up some of the theoretical and practical challenges offered by Visual Sociology, Image-based Research, Media Studies, Rural Development, and Community-based and Participatory Research, and in so doing offers audiences an array of visual approaches to studying and bringing about social change.
Ultra-Orthodox Women Working Outside the Haredi Community
In this book Devorah Kalekin-Fisman and Karlheinz Schneider analyze how the relationship between the traditional and the modern is unfolding in a particular milieu by centering on the Haredi women in Israel who become part of the national (rather than the community) work force. The book is based on analyses of interviews with people in the Haredi world. The authors’ goal is to attain an understanding of what women’s work means to the women, to their families, and to the Haredi community as a whole, by placing women’s self-presentations in the context of sociological literatures relating to the sociology of religion and the sociology of gender.
The focal issue is the question of how traditionalism fares when the legitimator / monitor of tradition in the home encounters the constraints of modernity through her studies and her work.
Women Breaking Educational Barriers in Traditional Societies
Higher education systems in many countries are undergoing significant changes in response to variety of local, national, and international pressures. Among these, the shift from elitism to the provision of mass higher education; increased impact of internationalization and globalization, which are increasingly blurring national boundaries; increased competition among universities for limited resources to support higher education sector; the impact of technology and the knowledge economy; and the continuing quest educational for equity.
Given what we already know about the position of women in the academy, what is so significant about the account of women represented in this book? Lessons from colleagues in Western universities provide important models for understanding some aspects of gendered identity of women scholars; however, a deeper understanding of educational experiences for women in countries such as China, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, may potentially offer innovative insights to our current understanding of gender within education. In this age of globalization, there are common themes that transcend the experiences of women across very different social, cultural, economic, and political contexts. Therefore, accounts of women scholars represented in this volume demonstrate that the experiences women scholars are not isolated incidents but global phenomena, and may offer alternative approaches to problems that seem insurmountable to women at the bottom of the professional ladder.
Further, the experiences of non-Western women scholars are important because it is only through an understanding of their educational conditions that institutions can implement policies and practices to respond effectively, and to create work environments that are supportive to professional aspirations of these scholars. Effective policies can only be attained when there is a clear understanding of the barriers and challenges female scholars. Given that gender concerns, especially in non-Western countries, have historically occupied and to some extent continue to occupy a marginal position in the daily operations of institutions of higher education, it is critical to highlight their potentially harmful effects not only on women scholars, but on institutions as well.