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"Man Enough To Do It"? Girls and Non-Traditional Subjects in Lower Secondary Education

Author

Listed:
  • Emer Smyth

    (Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI))

  • Merike Darmody

    (Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI))

Abstract

This article examines the processes influencing the choice of non-traditional subjects by girls in lower secondary education in the Republic of Ireland. In particular, we focus on the traditionally ?male? technological subjects, namely, Materials Technology (Wood), Metalwork and Technical Graphics. Analyses are based on detailed case-studies of twelve secondary schools, placing them in the context of national patterns of subject take-up. Strong gender differentiation persists in the take-up of these technological subjects. Commonalities are evident across schools in the way in which the subjects are constructed as ?male?. However, some students, both female and male, actively contest these labels, and school policy and practice regarding subject provision and choice can make a difference to take-up patterns. It is argued that the persistent gendering of subjects has implications for the skills acquired by students, their engagement in education, and the education, training and career opportunities open to them on leaving school.

Suggested Citation

  • Emer Smyth & Merike Darmody, 2007. ""Man Enough To Do It"? Girls and Non-Traditional Subjects in Lower Secondary Education," Papers WP198, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:wp198
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    File URL: http://www.esri.ie/pubs/WP198.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Emer Smyth, 2002. "Gender Differentiation and Early Labour Market Integration across Europe," MZES Working Papers 46, MZES.
    2. repec:esr:resser:bkmnext65 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Keane, Claire & Russell, Helen & Smyth, Emer, 2017. "Female participation increases and gender segregation," Papers WP564, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender; subject choice; stereotyping; lower secondary education;

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