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Girls, Single-Sex Schools, and Postfeminist Fantasies


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Acknowledgements List of Tables Preface 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 Appendix

About the Author

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


Stephanie McCall takes us on an eye-opening journey through two all-girls schools to show how girls are positioned differently while still understood as subjects of infinite capacity. McCall's engaging book brilliantly explores how 'girl power' rhetoric about girls' optimistic futures does not account for oppressions, privileges, and the sexism that permeates our culture. Instead of understanding single-sex schools as bastions of female empowerment where girls can freely thrive in a supportive female environment, using rich ethnographic data, McCall deftly shows how girls are produced within curricular knowledges shaping them in profound, demanding, and invisible ways. Far from 'genderless', all-girls schools operate through carefully crafted notions of girlhood that are mobilized differently in public and private educational settings. This book is necessary reading for anyone interested in gender and education, particularly as these topics intersect with a culture that promises girls equality and achievement but delivers little more than 'postfeminist fantasies'.

- Shauna Pomerantz is Associate Professor of Child and Youth Studies at Brock University, Canada. She is co-author or Smart Girls: Success, School, and the Myth of Post-Feminism.

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