Masculinities and Femininities in the Design and Technology Classroom
Keywords:masculinity, femininity, tasks, Design and Technology, Projects
Design and Technology is a secondary school subject that is perceived by students to be masculine and has been documented by the literature as an environment that can be considered off-putting to non-laddish masculinities and femininities. This paper posits that dominant forms of masculinity and femininity, and the characteristics that make up these forms, are highly dependent on the context in which they are being observed. Furthermore, the paper presents the findings of a small, qualitative group interview with four girls at a private secondary school in a deprived area of East Anglia. The participants were asked about their perceptions of whether specific tasks, artefacts (e.g., clock), and projects were masculine, feminine, or neutral to document which parts of the subject are most associated with masculinity. The study found that the participants' perceived confidence in the workshop to be a masculine trait, as well as any tasks or projects related to electronics or robotics. Conversely, working with textiles and creating similar projects were considered feminine. Tasks and projects that focused on problem solving, and using materials other than electronics, robotics and textiles were neutral. The paper also found that general practical tasks and building projects were considered neutral, though the participants perceived that their (masculine) teachers did not believe they were competent.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2023 Olexandra Solomka
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
This journal provides immediate open access to its content with no submission or publications fees. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a LicenceCreative Commons Attribution License that allows others to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full text of works in this journal. It also allows others to remix, adapt and build upon the work, as long as credit is given to the author(s).