Girls, Single-Sex Schools, and Postfeminist Fantasies: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Girls, Single-Sex Schools, and Postfeminist Fantasies

1st Edition

By Stephanie D. McCall


264 pages

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Hardback: 9781138290419
pub: 2019-11-06
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Bringing together feminist theory, girlhood studies, and curriculum theory, this book contributes an in-depth critical analysis of curriculum in single-gender schooling for girls in postfeminist landscapes of "unlimited choices" and resurgences of proper girlhood. The arguments challenge the mainstream assumptions and promotions about the guarantees of female success via small school supports, tailored curricula, protection, school choice and class advantage.

Single-gender schools are not homogenous; they have different histories, student populations, finances and organization. Recognizing this diversity, Girls, Single-sex Schools, and Postfeminist Fantasies draws on rich data collected in two US secondary schools over a two-year period to identify and explore the ambiguities of success in single-sex schools for girls. Rich classroom observations and interviews with teachers and students reveal the resounding message delivered to girls - that they can "have it all" by going to college. By exploring students’ imaginings, hopes, and doubts around college, the text illustrates how this catalyzes girls’ critiques of their futures and of the schooled storylines of female success. While teachers might trumpet college, career, and limitless horizons, girls seek to understand their social positions and try to make sense of family, passions, and future happiness.

This book will be of great interest to graduate and postgraduate students, academics, researchers, libraries in secondary education, girlhood studies, sociology of education, gender and sexuality in education, single-sex schooling, and feminist theory.

Table of Contents



List of Tables


Chapter 1: The education of "successful" girls in single-sex schools

Chapter 2: A curriculum of girlhood

Chapter 3: A place for girls

Chapter 4: High hopes and curriculum as "makeover"

Chapter 5: High hopes and a pedagogy of privilege

Chapter 6: Cruel futures, and other postfeminist failures

Chapter 7: A critical education for girls




About the Author

Stephanie D. McCall is Assistant Professor in Professional and Secondary Education at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, USA.

About the Series

Routledge Critical Studies in Gender and Sexuality in Education

Routledge Critical Studies in Gender and Sexuality in Education showcases scholarly work over a wide range of educational topics, contexts and locations within gender and sexuality in education. The series welcomes theoretically informed scholarship including critical, feminist, queer, trans, postcolonial, and intersectional perspectives, and encourages creative and innovative methodological approaches. Proposals dealing with critical policy analysis, as it relates to gender and sexuality studies in education, are also invited. The series is committed to publishing scholarly monographs, both sole and co-authored, and edited collections.

Please send inquiries and proposals to: Wayne Martino (, Emma Renold ( and Elsbeth Wright (

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Philosophy & Social Aspects
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies