Gender Identity (girls) Linked to Class

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  • Gender Identity (girls) Linked to Class
    • Symbolic Capital
      • Feminist Archer et al (2010) says there is a clear conflict between working class girls' identity and the values and ethos of a school
      • Working class girls strive for symbolic capital which prevents them achieving academic capital and economic capital
      • They adopt several strategies in creating symbolic capital in order to feel valued and a sense of self
    • Hyper-heterosexual Feminine Identities
      • Many of working class girls invest a considerable amount of money, time and effort is constructing a 'desirable' identity
      • Having this identity brought them status from their peers
        • however it brought them into conflict with the school who punished them for wearing things like make up, teachers see the girls appearance as a distraction from education
    • Boyfriends
      • Having a boyfriend brings working class girls symbolic capital, however it got in the way of school work and lowered girls aspirations
      • These girls aspire to 'settle down', have children and work in low class feminine jobs
    • Working Class Dilemma
      • Gain Symbolic Capital or gain Educational Capital
      • To gain educational capital they would have to reject symbolic capital
    • Successful Working Class Girls
      • Evan (2009) says that if working class girls do well then they are then at a disadvantage by their gender and class identity.
      • W/C girls want to increase there earning power so that they can support their family (dual burden)
      • They are also less likely to move away from home for university because of fear of debt


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