Title of study: An investigation into how a gendered workforce is materialised through feminist new materialist encounters in a Montessori classroom
Engaging with a feminist new materialist (FNM) ethico-onto-epistemology, my research seeks to produce generative reimaginings of how gender comes to matter within the early childhood workforce, in Montessori spaces. Current government perspectives on the gendered nature of the workforce are firmly rooted in binary male/female framings (DfE, 2017). Feminist poststructuralism, with its emphasis on critique, has helped to shift perspectives about gender and practices of doing gender. However, such an analysis continues to frame gender in reductionist ways by focusing solely on human performativity, thereby disregarding the material-affective components that play an active and important role in the production of gender. In this research I therefore hope to attend to gender as a more-than-human matter, paying attention to the nuances of gender production through nonhuman-human entanglements. Building on Butlerian performativity, I propose that posthuman modes of inquiry, through the practice of ‘deep hanging out’ (Haraway in Gane, 2006) and by working with Haraway’s (2016) SF philosophy, particularly the practice of string figuring, invite adventures in diffractive reconfigurations, thereby generating new and fresh ways of seeing gender, as it sympoietically emerges through various materialsemiotic entanglements.
Supervisory team: Professor Jayne Osgood and Dr. John Barker