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Title: Girls and examinations, 1860-1902
Author: Jacobs, Andrea Elizabeth
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Winchester
Date of Award: 2003
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Examinations in England and Wales were a nineteenth -century invention closely connected to the ongoing development of a more modern and meritocratic society. The first examinations in secondary schools began during the 1850s. The middle of the century also saw active movements to improve the position of women in society and to secure better education for the poor of both sexes. Against this background of change, the thesis draws together a variety of sources in order to analyse the educational, social and economic significance of the development of examinations for girls from different social classes between 1860 and 1902. There are two major recurring themes within the thesis. First, the relevance of orthodox perceptions of appropriate future roles in society according to social rank and gender that led to different education provision both between middle-class and working-class children, and between boys and girls. Second, that in spite of such disadvantages some girls achieved success in examinations benefiting them, within a limited framework, educationally, socially and economically. Reflecting these major themes, which can be defined as objective structures on one hand and subjective action on the other, thesis data is analysed, in five central substantive chapters, within a gender history methodology allied to the `thinking tools' of the social theorist Pierre Bourdieu. Gender history methodology acknowledges the way in which gendered identities contribute to unequal power structures in society, while recognising women's strengths and individuality. Bourdieu questions how stratified systems of hierarchy and domination in society persist and are reproduced while arguing against an apparent determinism by emphasising that individuals have a role in defining their futures. The examinations specifically discussed within the thesis include those of the Universities of Cambridge, London and Oxford, the College of Preceptors, the Department of Science and Art, the Society of Arts and the City and Guilds of London Institute. The consequences of the examinations under the Revised Code of 1862 for working-class children in elementary schools are also analysed.
Supervisor: Goodman, Joyce ; Watts, Ruth Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Education of women