Contesting Cultures: Schooling and the Gender Norms of Gypsy/Traveller Life Ways in the UK
Traditional gender divisions in Gypsy/Traveller communities continue to spatially divide boys and girls. However, with evidence that suggests a shifting landscape of parental attitudes towards the value of schooling for their children from these communities particularly amongst daughters, means girls are staying on longer in the UK education system. I argue in this article that by engaging with schooling more readily, girls are provided with a space away from the confines of their ‘home place’ in which they can begin to challenge the patriarchal norms of their communities. This article argues that such girls are posing a threat to the community values associated with their expected gender roles. The data on which this paper draws reflects three ‘interest’ groups consisting of professionals working ‘inside’ schools; those working ‘outside’ schools alongside the communities and finally the communities themselves. Data comprised three focus groups discussions and twenty-three one to one semi-structured / unstructured interviews across the interest groups. A small-scale ethnography was also used by way of participant observation in two English primary schools.
Citation : Cudworth, D. (2015) Contesting Cultures: Schooling and the Gender Norms of Gypsy/Traveller Life Ways in the UK. Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Conference (ISS) - Split, Croatia - 11-14th June 2015
Peer Reviewed : Yes