Conference Agenda

RN33_09a: Generations, Identities and Subjective Experiences
Friday, 23/Aug/2019:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Lise Widding Isaksen, University of Bergen, Norway
Location: BS.3.14
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Third Floor, North Atrium Oxford Road


Sexting is not Sex: How Teenagers Redefine Communication and Sexuality

Genovefa Zafeiridou

University of Cyprus, Cyprus

The phenomenon of teen sexting has become a major challenge not only for parents but also educators and policy makers. Beyond moral panics and concerns about propriety, sexting has also been identified as an instrument of intimidation and bullying. However, while research has examined the prevalence of the phenomenon mostly through surveys, few studies have engaged young people’s own perceptions and understandings of sexting. This study is based on 34 interviews with 15-18 year-old students (20 girls, 14 boys) in two high schools (urban and rural) in Cyprus. All ethical rules for ensuring anonymity and confidentiality were followed, including parental and student consent as well as procedures for handling cases of abuse disclosure to the interviewer. Results are concurrent with recent literature which points to how sexting exposes sexism, double standards, ‘slut shaming’ and internalized misogyny. However, while the devastating consequences of sexting as a form of bullying were recognized by the participants, there was also a blasé attitude towards the significance of sexting. I argue that young people’s explanations and rationalizations of this widespread practice involve a discernible shift in youth culture where sexting is viewed simply as form of communication, devoid of the gravity and ‘seriousness’ of sex. I conclude that this needs to be taken into account when analyzing how sexting complicates current debates on sexuality and sexual agency.

Tradition or Integration? Changing Identity Patterns in Three Generation of Roma Women in Hungary

Fanni Maszlag

University of Debrecen, Hungary

The infiltration of globalization and modernization into traditional communities does not only bring change at the individual level to the life of Hungarian Roma women, but also changes the way of cultural transfer and socialization, including new contents, value sets, traditions, and integration frameworks. The role of Roma women in these processes, i.e. in the field of cultural transformation, could be a key factor for the integration of the minority group. On one hand, they ensure the continuation of traditions and, on the other, they are the initiators of change. It is particularly important to examine this change from the viewpoint of both the majority and the minority groups. I try to answer the questions, whether keeping traditions or putting them away facilitate the integration into the majority society and how these patterns changed in the past 20 years, how the ‘walls of tradition’ hinder the integration. In my interview research, I present the different phases of integration and levels of segregation based on the personal perceptions of three generation of Roma women.

Doing Feminist Diversity: Learning from a workshop for first generation students

Efrat Ben-Shoshan Gazit

Tel Aviv university, Israel

First-generation students (FGS), are students whose parents do not have academic degrees. Most FGS are low income women, from minority groups, underrepresented in research faculty. FGS women face multi barriers that create a sense of s alienation, especially in regard to their lack of academic skills, which are considered within the meritocratic discourse as 'knowledge' that defined excellence and success.

Ahmed (2017) points the contradiction between institutions' declarations of diversity, and the reality. She criticizes the false diversity language of academia as an active un-transformative action.

I will present a particular diversity initiative for FGS, and discuss its feminist framework. In the past four years “Academia for Equality” has been offering an academic workshops for FG women, providing academic professionalization skills and feminist tools in order to allow them to expose the politics of 'knowing', and most important, the politics of 'not knowing'.

I will demonstrate how these workshops enable the creation of a feminist knowledge, by allowing the students to speak the 'not knowing', to express the emotions of alienation it produced, in a safe place. I will conclude by proposing to institutionally adopt such a model of critical workshops, that widen the possibilities to 'do diversity' and not just speak about it.

Exploring the Everyday Lived Experiences of Young Muslim Women About the Hijab: Reflections From the Inside

Berenice Golding, Leonie B Jackson

University of Huddersfield, United Kingdom

The Islamic headscarf has received a large amount of attention in the United Kingdom (UK), Europe and the broader Anglosphere in recent years, resulting in an increase in research that consults Muslim women about their views. While Islamic veiling practices have long been problematised as potential indicators of radicalisation and positioned as challenging to multicultural British identity, contentious debates in the UK have focused on face and body coverings (the niqab and burka), while scarves that cover only the hair and neck (hijab), have been largely absorbed as acceptable practice. The announcement in November 2017 that Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills) school inspectors would question young girls about why they wore the headscarf was therefore somewhat surprising, particularly as it was apparently based on an interpretation of the garment’s potential sexualisation of children. This paper reports on an exploratory study in to the multiple meanings of the headscarf for young women in two universities in the North of England. Using The Listening Guide, a narrative feminist approach to data analysis, we illustrate how diversity, inclusion and unconscious bias are central to young women’s reflections upon the role of the hijab in their lives. Specifically, we reflect upon wider social, political and societal contexts and the factors that influenced their decision to wear or not to wear a headscarf, their thoughts and feelings about the Ofsted ruling, societal perceptions of the headscarf, and these young women’s positions in wider society.