Gender power in elite schools: methodological insights from researcher reflexive accounts


Forbes J & Weiner G (2014) Gender power in elite schools: methodological insights from researcher reflexive accounts. Research Papers in Education, 29 (2), pp. 172-192.

The main task of this paper is to understand the methodological insights from researchers’ reflexive accounts about the production of gender in the specific practices of three Scottish elite schools. Accordingly, the paper poses three questions: How is gender re/constructed through the specific practices of these elite schools? What insights into these specific school gender regimes are offered in researchers’ reflexive accounts? What methodological insights are gained for future such studies? The paper opens with a discussion of gender policy in Scotland which suggests that the country’s policy and governance take little account of gender, equality and in/exclusion issues, in particular their intersectional nature. The methodology for the wider study from which this paper emerges is then outlined followed by the methodology for this researcher reflexive sub-study. Then, the data relating to the three schools’ gender practices’ regimes and the researchers’ reflexive data are presented and analysed. The paper concludes by delineating a number of important gender power issues which the researcher reflexive accounts highlight and argues that the insights thus gained will aid the development of gender and power sensitive methodology.

gender; elite schools; gender regimes; researcher reflexivity; in/exclusion; methodology

Research Papers in Education: Volume 29, Issue 2

Publication date31/12/2014
Publication date online13/02/2013
Date accepted by journal14/01/2013
PublisherTaylor and Francis