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Title: Performatively queer: sole parent postgraduates in the Australian academy
Contributor(s): Hook, Genine (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2015
DOI: 10.1080/07294360.2015.1051006
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Abstract: This paper draws on research that considers how gender and agency influence the engagement of sole parent postgraduates within the Australian academy. I argue that parental care responsibilities critically influence participation in higher education for sole parents. I suggest that the gendered construct of caring for children is a feminine performative which significantly determines how sole parents are able to engage with postgraduate education. By exploring motherhood practices and discourses as performatively queer, I am able to draw attention to everyday operations of motherhood and also begin to disrupt the naturalised link between female bodies and their care of children. This queering analysis aims to re-frame gendered constructs of feminine caring of children which significantly shapes participation and orientations towards higher education. Queer theory usefully investigates naturalised, so-called common-sense identity markers, including those re-inscribing gender. I suggest that 'motherhood' equals feminine and that this powerful gendered social construction is an important site of critique. I suggest that sole parenting can be materially different because it is often experienced through intensified levels of childcare, domestic and financial management responsibilities. I argue that this increased level of childcare, household work and financial responsibility has material implications for sole parent's time, energy and engagement with postgraduate education.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Higher Education Research and Development, 34(4), p. 788-800
Publisher: Routledge
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 1469-8366
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 130308 Gender, Sexuality and Education
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 390406 Gender, sexuality and education
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 930499 School/Institution not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 160299 Schools and learning environments not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article

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