Exploring a taboo of cultural reproduction

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Cultural reproduction is rarely, if ever, theorised through clandestine practices of sexual offending by teachers in the gendered hierarchies of state schools. Drawing upon Freedom of Information requests and other official qualitative data provided by a UK teaching council this paper endeavours to explain the form of a gendered cultural reproduction by reference to the diversity of ways in which identities are constructed and 'contracted' for female student victims. The paper begins by looking at this taboo subject matter in the context of a historical patriarchal order and cultures of heterosexuality in schools, followed by a feminist perspective through which empirical theorization is documented. Michel Foucault's work on the micro-physics of power and normativity informs the emphasis of the contemporary feminist prism. It is argued that that offending occurs under the auspices of the professional teacher-student hierarchy and produces distinctive and damaging power effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-550
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
Issue number4
Early online date24 Aug 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Aug 2017


  • abuse
  • feminist
  • gender
  • heterosexual
  • identity
  • schools
  • sexual


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