Gender equity education in Taiwan: policy, schooling and young people's gender and sexual identities
2010-11-11T09:00:03Z (GMT) by
The 2004 Gender Equity Education Act (GEEA) sought to challenge gender and sexual discrimination in Taiwan by focusing on the importance of spaces of education as sites where gender and sexual identities are normalized and reproduced. This thesis explores the production of the GEEA and its subsequent implementation in two schools in Taipei City. Through reviewing geographical literature on education, children/young people, gender and sexualities, this thesis explores four research questions: (1) how the aims of the GEEA are shaped in Taiwanese policy context; (2) how the GEEA is implemented in schools; (3) how teachers shape young people’s gender and sexual identities; (4) how young people’s experiences of teaching practices and peer cultures affect their understandings of gender and sexual identities. Methods including discourse analysis, semi-structured interviews, and observation are adopted to answer the above questions. The research aims to challenge the dichotomy of inward- and outward-looking approaches in geographies of education, to expand the construction of childhood and the gender model in existing geographical research in Western contexts, and to further the conceptualisation of different forms of heterosexuality. Consequently, based on empirical findings, the thesis argues that the objective of the GEEA, which is to enable the performance of diverse gender and sexual identities in educational spaces, has not been achieved yet because of the contradictory practices evident within school spaces. In conclusion, the thesis relates the research findings to some of the key debates within contemporary geographical literatures by highlighting the importance of combing inward- and outward-looking approaches to study education, the complex nature of young people’s gender identities formation, and the age-dependent form of heterosexuality. Ultimately, this thesis demonstrates the crucial role of education spaces in shaping young people’s identities in an East Asian context.