(Re)constructing women: Scaled portrayals of privilege and gender norms on campus

Jen Gieseking

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

How are privilege and/or particular gender norms for women spatially (re)produced over time and how are they challenged and changed? In interviews and mental mapping exercises with 32 students and graduates of an elite US women's college from graduating classes spanning 1937 to 2006, women's class and gender norms and expectations are found to have been produced, reproduced and reworked in their everyday experiences during college. Participants portray these norms through the scales of the body, institution and extra-institution in regards to the particular social and physical space of the campus. Participants' experiences, as depicted in these scales, indicate that class norms remained stable over generational cohorts, but gender norms shifted drastically because the privilege found within and granted by the elite women's college campus allowed for and prompted such changes. Transformations of women's gender norms also correspond with changes in the larger social sphere with a particular split in how participants could enact their privilege to alter their gender norms before and after the late 1960s.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-286
Number of pages9
JournalArea
Volume39
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2007

Keywords

  • Campus
  • Class
  • Gender
  • Mental mapping narratives
  • Scale
  • United States
  • Women's colleges

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development

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