Revisiting Gender Identities and Education: Notes for a Social Psychology of Resistant Identities in Modern Cultures

  • Caroline Howarth London School of Economics and Political Science


In this paper I offer a review and a reflection on Gender Identities and Education: The Impact of Starting School (Lloyd and Duveen, 1992) as a means of examining the detail and insights of Gerard Duveen's contribution to the study of identity. What this study highlights is the contextual, imposed, inter-subjective and collaborative nature of identity, the relationship between representation, culture and identity, and the dynamic, resistant and transformative character of identity production. I give detailed empirical examples of the genesis of
representations of gender and gendered identities through a discussion of the interconnections between microgenesis, ontogenesis
and sociogenesis. This leads onto a consideration of representations 'that other' more generally and the importance of including the social and material within the methodology of identity projects. As such, I argue, we can see the work of Duveen and his colleagues as valuable for a theory and a method of research of resistant identities in modern cultures, and thereby develop a social psychology properly equipped to research current social relations, and properly engaged with contemporary experiences of identity.