Feminism, Gender and Universities demonstrates the positive and robust impacts that feminism has had on higher education, through the eyes and in the words of the participants in changing political and social processes. Drawing on the ’collective biography’ of leading feminist scholars from around the world and current evidence relating to gender equality in education, this book employs methods including biographies, life histories, and narratives to show how the feminist project to transform women’s lives in the direction of gender and social equality became an educational and pedagogical one. Through careful attention to the ways in which feminism has transformed feminist academic women’s lives, the author explores the importance of education in changing socio-political contexts, raising questions about further changes that are necessary. Delving into the deeper and more ’hidden’ echelons of education, the book examines the contested nature of current managerial or business approaches to university and education, revealing these to be incompatible with feminist thought. A plea for more careful attention to education and the ways in which the processes of knowledge-making influence (and are influenced by) gender and sexual relations, Feminism, Gender and Universities will appeal to scholars across the social sciences with interests in gender, pedagogy and modern academic life.
Miriam E. David is Professor Emerita of Sociology of Education at the Institute of Education, University of London, UK. She is the author of Personal and Political: Feminisms, Sociology and Family Lives; co-author of Get Real About Sex: The Politics and Practice of Sex Education and Degrees of Choice: Social Class, Race and Gender in Higher Education, the editor of Improving Learning by Widening Participation in Higher Education and co-editor of The Sociology of Higher Education: Reproduction, Transformation and Change in a Global Era, and Negotiating the Glass Ceiling: Senior Women in the Academic World.
’This is a passionate and fascinating book: lucid, engaging and fluently written it not only documents the histories of individual women in higher education, it also makes the case for the difference that their presence makes - both to universities themselves and to our wider expectations and aspirations about gender relations. It is an important, indeed essential, contribution to our understanding, and the making of, democratic education.’ Mary Evans, London School of Economics, UK ’Miriam David celebrates the way that feminism has changed the landscape of higher education forever while asking forensic questions about the future of gender studies in a corporate, neoliberal landscape. One of her significant achievements is to draw on the voices of several generations of feminist intellectuals to both deepen and enliven her broader arguments.’ Melissa Benn 'In many respects, and taken on its own terms, David’s book delivers admirably on its mission to produce a document that will boost the collective understanding and memory of feminist academics of the 1950s onwards. It gives voice to a rich and valuable set of accounts from early pioneers and later entrants, narrating their negotiation of academic life and activism and/or domestic responsibilities, articulating a range of lifecourse experiences, from formative family events and engagement with inspirational texts, to often faltering and intermittent forays into academic life.' Times Higher Education '... what Miriam has crafted in her project is a resource that will no doubt be used and perused for years to come. She has succeeded in producing a book that straddles the tensions of feminist epistemological and methodological concerns that continue to preoccupy feminist researchers.Feminism, Gender and Universities documents the personal and the intimate as well as the social and institutional events and processes that have led to the position that feminist knowledge holds in the academy today. In that w