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Real or imagined women? Staff representations of international women postgraduate students

Bullen, Elizabeth and Kenway, Jane 2003, Real or imagined women? Staff representations of international women postgraduate students, Discourse : studies in the cultural politics of education, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 35-50.

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Title Real or imagined women? Staff representations of international women postgraduate students
Author(s) Bullen, Elizabeth
Kenway, Jane
Journal name Discourse : studies in the cultural politics of education
Volume number 24
Issue number 1
Start page 35
End page 50
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2003-04
ISSN 0159-6306
1469-3739
Keyword(s) education policy & politics
Summary In Australia's globalising universities many support staff and teaching staff now work with international women postgraduate students. But are they aware of the issues facing these women, and is their understanding of them adequate? Indeed, how do they represent them? In this paper we draw on a small-scale pilot study involving key university personnel. We argue that the ways in which such staff represent this group of students is problematic. Focusing primarily on academic issues and on the literature on learning styles, we analyse these staff members' representations of international women postgraduate students from a postcolonial perspective. We explore the extent to which such representations, and the learning styles literature that reflects and informs them, are what Edward Said calls 'Orientalist'. In so doing, we point to both the constitution of the international woman student as postcolonial female subject and show how this situates her in relation to the prevalent learning styles discourse. Further we argue that such representations of the students differ in crucial ways from the students' self-representations, suggesting that in certain subtle ways such staff members are engaging with 'imagined' rather than 'real' women.
Language eng
Field of Research 130103 Higher Education
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2003, Taylor & Francis Ltd
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30013552

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.