An epitaph to Section 28? Telling tales out of school about changes and challenges to discourses of sexuality
University of Exeter
International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education
This article seeks to develop an understanding of the professional and personal lives of LGBT teachers in relation to the discriminatory statute Section 28, which prohibited 'promotion' of 'the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship' by local education authorities in the UK (except Northern Ireland). Interviews with a small sample of serving teachers are analysed using a feminist poststructuralist methodology to discover whether the removal of this legislation marks a shift in theorization, policy or practice. Findings are arranged to focus on the workings of official policy, on informal or unofficial classroom and staffroom practices, and on relations with a local community. Analysis and discussion reveal a complex matrix of constituents (space, relationships and other variables) only some of which respond to the (perhaps) superficial stimulus of legislative change. Such change goes only a small way to challenge a deeply embedded discourse of inequality, which may respond only to a more profound epistemological transformation.
This is a postprint of an article whose final and definitive form has been published in the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education,© 2007 Copyright Taylor & Francis; International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, is available online at http://www.informaworld.com