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Girls and boys in the early years : gender in an African Catholic primary school in Marianhill, Durban.

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There is evidence that primary schools are important places where gender inequalities are prevalent. The aim of this study was to explore how gender relations amongst grade two boys and girls in an African junior primary are constructed. It investigated how gender relations amongst 7/8 year old grade two boys and girls in an African Catholic junior primary school situated in Mariannhill, Durban, are constructed. It explored the process through which young township boys and girls attach meaning to gender and forge their gender identities. In this study young boys and girls were active agents in the construction of their gender identities. This study adopted a qualitative approach. Observations and unstructured interviews were used as methods of collecting data from grade two boys and girls. Purposive sampling was used in selecting seven boys and seven girls to participate in group interviews. The study focussed on micro dynamics of boys and girls pertaining to friendships, sexualities, play, violence, religion, classroom chores and school subjects in a detailed analysis. It showed that gender equalities are pervasive in the little cultural world of grade two boys and girls.


Thesis (M.Ed.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 2008.


Sexism in education--South Africa., Theses--Education.