Chapter 4

Situating the Production of Feminist Ethnography

Beverley Skeggs



In 1980, to supplement my PGCE grant, I was teaching sociology to a group of 16-to-18-year-old, white, working-class women in a northern further education college as part of their ‘Community Care’ course. Part of the work I did with them involved an analysis of media images of femininity. Their responses were fascinating. They were far more critical and discriminating then the contemporary theories of ideology and femininity suggested.1 At the same time I was starting my PhD and these responses, along with the reading of Paul Willis, profoundly affected the direction it would take. It was to be a study in hegemony and practice:2 i.e. I wanted to know if, ...

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