In memoriam: Shulamith Firestone

On 28th August, Shulamith Firestone was found dead in her Manhattan apartment at the age of 67. Firestone’s 1970 book, The Dialectic of Sex, is a carefully argued and inspiring call for a feminist revolution that still feels ahead of its time 42 years later. I’d just finished rereading it when I heard the news […]

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Fame, Folk devils and Generation X-Factor

In recent months a number of articles have appeared in the UK national press, reporting renewed concerns about the impact of celebrity and consumer culture on young people’s aspirations. Celebrity culture features in these as a contemporary folk devil, conjured up as the source of various societal ills, and diverting attention from the structural causes […]

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Selling Science as ‘a Girl Thing’

When the EU launched a short viral video to publicise their It’s a Girl Thing! campaign to get more women into science, it all kicked off in the blogosphere and twitterverse. The 45 second promo, which looks like a cross between a cosmetics ad and a girl group music video, begins with a young good-looking […]

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Rejecting home for homeland: Carrie Madison and gender roles in TV’s Homeland

Homeland is a US television series based on an Israeli show, Prisoners of War. It centres on CIA agent Carrie Maddison, played by Claire Danes, who in dramatic opening scenes is told by a source that a US marine has been ‘turned’. When a few days later US marine Nicholas Brody, played by Damien Lewis, […]

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Learned to Kill? Now Teach our Children: A Critique of Troops to Teachers

The UK government, following the lead of the US, is devising multiple ways to get more ex-members of the military into our schools – as teachers, mentors, classroom assistants and basic skills tutors. As part of the Free Schools initiative, the first UK school to be staffed entirely by untrained ex-military is set to open […]

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Rape and Reality TV

On Sunday night 15th January, an alleged rape was broadcast live on the current, twelfth season of Big Brother Brazil. Meanwhile, one week later, in the UK Celebrity Big Brother House one housemate pulled down another’s trousers. Both events raise questions about gender, power and reality in contemporary society.
In Brazil, two contestants, Daniel Echaniz, and […]

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Boffins and geeks: geek or chic?

The labels swot, ear ’ole, boffin, keeno, geek and nerd resonate meaningfully across generations of school-goers and echo through the terrains of popular culture. Our Gender and Education viewpoint started life as a conversation about our own research into how such identities are imagined and lived. We wondered: Has ‘the rise of the nerd’ meant […]

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