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Studying gender in the neoliberal, postfeminist university: Australian university students’ perspectives


La Paglia, H and Nash, M and Grant, R, Studying gender in the neoliberal, postfeminist university: Australian university students' perspectives, Journal of Sociology pp. 1-14. ISSN 1440-7833 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 The Authors

DOI: doi:10.1177/1440783320911465


© The Author(s) 2020. In a neoliberal environment where university students are encouraged to study subjects and courses which will lead to specific job outcomes, this article explores which students undertake Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS), why they undertake the degree, and what it teaches them. Drawing on interviews with students at a regional Australian university, this qualitative study examines the extent to which the university’s Gender Studies cohort is postfeminist, and the impact that this has on retention and student outcomes. Findings suggest that WGS holds an ambivalent position within the contemporary university context. While students claim that studying WGS may not directly benefit them in the contemporary job market, they choose to study it because it gives them a better understanding of themselves and the world around them. The value students place on WGS is an insight rarely recognised previously.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:gender studies, feminism, higher education, Tasmania, bachelor of arts, neoliberalism
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Education policy, sociology and philosophy
Research Field:Sociology of education
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:La Paglia, H (Miss Heidi La Paglia)
UTAS Author:Nash, M (Associate Professor Meredith Nash)
UTAS Author:Grant, R (Dr Ruby Grant)
ID Code:137116
Year Published:2020
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2020-02-02
Last Modified:2020-08-11

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