Legitimate subjects: diverse pedagogical practices and gendered subjectivities in high school classrooms

Himabindu Timiri, Roozbeh Shirazi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper is based on an ethnographic study of a progressive high school programme that privileges critical thinking amongst its students. Drawing upon feminist poststructuralist educational research, we propose an analysis of classroom discourse in order to highlight the diverse legitimation processes that enable gendered subjectivities in one high school setting. Our findings indicate that pedagogic styles alter the pattern of legitimation for gendered subject positions in the three classroom settings studied, and create different possibilities for the interrogation of normative gender scripts in the classroom. While appeals to teacher authority are the basis for the legitimation of alternative gendered subject positions in all three classrooms, agential student-led interactions are more apparent in challenging normative gender scripts. Our study demonstrates the need to consider the diverse sources of discursive authority for gendered claims in schools and seeks nuance in understanding pedagogical authority and gendered knowledge construction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-184
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Gender Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 17 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Gender
  • critical
  • discourse
  • high school
  • pedagogy
  • poststructural feminist


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