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Title: Learning gender : the link with violence in and around schools in Mozambique
Author: Oledzka-Nielsen, Monika
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis explores the links between gender relations and violence against girls in and around schools in Mozambique. A participatory approach to research was used to explore young girls’ and boys’ experiences of gender violence in homes, schools and streets. This involved interviews, focus group discussions and observation with a range of institutional actors: parents, family members, teachers, ‘sugar daddies’ and young people. The study is framed as an ethnographic case study and investigates how gender and power relations are constructed through experience, interaction with others and through what girls and boys observe and acquire in different sites of learning including school, church, family and community, and the media. Drawing on the theoretical concepts of agency, power relations and subjectivities within gender and social analysis (Butler, 1990; Foucault, 1978; 1982; McNay, 2000; 2003), I explore how gender as a cultural construct is acquired by participants in structured and unstructured learning contexts. The concept of ‘situated learning’ (Lave and Wenger, 1991) is drawn upon to examine the validity of formal, non-formal and informal processes of learning through which young people learn about gender relations and sexuality in this community in Mozambique. Conceptualisation of learning as a continuum from informal to formal suggests that learning is a lifelong activity shaped by people, context and culture, and that knowledge which involves local knowledge and contextual practice experience, is acquired through ‘communities of practice’ (Lave and Wenger, 1991). In terms of the role of the school, the thesis shows how school shapes gender relations through unequal teacher-student power relations, everyday practices and structures that can result in violent acts. The thesis also explores how initiation rites involving young people in groups and individually not only contribute to conveying gender stereotypes but also provide insights into the ways in which such traditions are being mediated and transformed. Drawing young people’s voices into the debate, the thesis describes how girls and boys rely on unstructured, informal means of learning through the media and everyday life experience. It suggests that young people absorb knowledge and construct gender identities through different learning processes that might implicitly and/or explicitly lead to gender violence.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available