Debating Women

Gendered Lessons in a Venezuelan Classroom
  • Janise Hurtig


My field notes remind me that it was a Wednesday morning in March of 1992, six months into the school year and nine months into my ethnographic research in the Venezuelan town of Timotes.1 I left the house early and joined the flow of students as they headed to the first-period class at Liceo Parra,2 the municipal secondary school. Each student sporting the requisite national uniform—blue jeans and beige or white shirts depending on their grade, blue sweaters on chilly Andean days—they created a nearly monochrome stream of disciplined informality that briefly transformed the otherwise motley, sparsely inhabited, and principally adult space of the street. I was looking forward to attending the first class that day. Profesora Nilda Martínez,3 the serious, soft-spoken young ninth-grade language and literature teacher, was holding a “debate” (debate in Spanish) on “the role of Venezuelan women in society,” and she was expecting me to attend.


Female Student Male Student Gender Ideology Physical Education Class Coeducational School 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bisseret, Noëlle. 1979. Education, Class Language and Ideology. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  2. CERPE. 1982. El sistema educativo en el proceso de modernization de Venezuela. Colección CERPE no. 3.Google Scholar
  3. De Certeau, Michel. 1984. The Practice of Everyday Life. Trans. Steven Randell. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  4. Domínguez, Freddy and Napoleón Franceschi. 1988. Trabajos prácticos de historia de Venezuela contemporánea. Caracas: Colegial Bolivariana, C.A.Google Scholar
  5. El National. 1991. “Cuando las madrés son también padres.” May 14.Google Scholar
  6. Espinoza Marín, Jesús María. 1992. Historia mínima de Timotes. Timotes-Mérida, Venezuela: Centra Editorial Escuela de Comunicadores Populares “Mario Kaplún.”Google Scholar
  7. Franceschi, Napoleón and Freddy Domínguez. 1988. Historia de Venezuela. Octavo Grado. Caracas: Colegial Bolivariana, C.A.Google Scholar
  8. Gill, Lesley. 1997. “Creating Citizens, Making Men: The Military and Masculinity in Bolivia.” Cultural Anthropology 12(4): 527–550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hernández, Eumelia. 1985. Una Vida Una Lucha. Caracas: Fundación para el desarrollo social de la región capital.Google Scholar
  10. Hurtig, Janise. 1998a. “Gender Lessons: Schooling and the Reproduction of Patriarchy in a Venezuelan Town.” Ph.D. diss., University of Michigan.Google Scholar
  11. Hurtig, Janise. 1998b. “Myths of (fe)male achievement.” La Educatión, Interamerican Review of ‘Educational Development 42: 101–120.Google Scholar
  12. Kandiyoti, Deniz. 1991. “Bargaining with patriarchy.” In The Social Construction of Gender, edited by Judith Lorber and Susan Farrell. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  13. Lave, Jean. 1993. “The practice of learning.” In Understanding Practice: Perspectives on Activity and Context, edited by Seth Chaiklin and Jean Lave. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Levinson, Bradley. 2001. We are all Equal: Student Culture and Identity at a Mexican Secundary School: 1988–1998. Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Levinson, Bradley, Douglas E. Foley and Dorothy C. Holland, eds. 1996. The Cultural Production of the Educated Person. Albany: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
  16. Luykx, Aurolyn. 1997. “Discriminación sexual y estrategias verbales femeninas en contextos escolares Bolivianos.” In Más aliá del silencio: Las fronteras de género en los Andes, edited by Denise Y. Arnold. La Paz: CIASE/ILCA.Google Scholar
  17. Massey, Doreen. 1994. Space, Place and Gender. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  18. Matta, Roberto da. 1991. “Espaço: Casa, rua e outro mundo: o caso do Brasil.” In A casa y a Rua. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Guanabara Koogan S.A.Google Scholar
  19. McDermott, Raymond P. 1993. “The Acquisition of a Child by a Learning Disability.” In Understanding Practice: Perspectives on Activity and Context, edited by Seth Chaiklin and Jean Lave. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Machado, Giovanna. 1979. En defensa del aborto en Venezuela. Caracas: Editorial Ateneo de Caracas.Google Scholar
  21. Ministerio de Estado para la Participación de la Mujer en el Desarrollo. 1983. Venezuela: Bibliografía inacabada. Evolución Social 1936–1983. Caracas: Ediciones Ministerio de Estado para la Participación de la Mujer en el Desarrollo y Banco Central de Venezuela.Google Scholar
  22. Montoya de Solar, Rosario. 1995. “Fractured Solidarities: Utopian Projects and Local Hegemonies in Nicaragua, 1979–1990.” Ph.D. diss., University of Michigan.Google Scholar
  23. Poovey, Mary 1988. Uneven Developments: The Ideological Work of Gender in Mid-Victorian England. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Pratt, Géraldine. 1998. “Geographic Metaphors in Feminist Theory.” In Making Worlds: Gender, Metaphors, Materiality, edited by Susan Hardy Aiken, Ann Brighma, Sallie A. Marston, and Penny Waterstone. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.Google Scholar
  25. Prieto Figueroa, Luis Beltrán. 1951. De una educación de castas a una educatión de masas. La Habana: Editorial Lex.Google Scholar
  26. Prieto Figueroa, Luis Beltrán. 1990 [1977]. El Estado y la educación en América Latina. Caracas: Monte Avila Editores.Google Scholar
  27. Reinharz, Shulamit. 1992. Feminist Methods in Social Research. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Reinharz, Shulamit and Ellen Stone, eds. 1992. Looking at Invisible Women: An Exercise in Feminist Pedagogy. Washington, D.C.: University Press of America.Google Scholar
  29. Rosenblat, Angel. 1964. La educación en Venezuela. Caracas: Monte Avila Editores.Google Scholar
  30. Rosillo, Carmen. 1992. “La participación politica de las mujeres en Venezuela.” In Fermentum: Revista Venezolana de Sociología y Antropología 2(4): 37–51.Google Scholar
  31. Stern, Steve. 1996. The Secret History of Gender: Women, Men, and Power in Late Colonial Mexico. Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press.Google Scholar
  32. Stromquist, Nelly. 1997. Literacy for Citizenship: Gender and Grassroots Dynamics in Brazil. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
  33. Swann, Joan, 1989. “Talk Control: An Illustration from the Classroom of Problems in Analyzing Male Dominance of Conversation.” In Women in their Speech Communities, edited by Jennifer Coates and Deborah Cameron. London: Longman.Google Scholar
  34. Taussig, Michael. 1992. The Nervous System. New York: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Rosario Montoya, Lessie Jo Frazier, and Janise Hurtig 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janise Hurtig

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations