Prof Debbie Epstein
Telephone:+44 (0)29 208 75097
Fax:+44 (0)29 208 74175
Address:2.26 Glamorgan Building
Debbie Epstein is Professor of Education at the School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University, Wales. She is co-editor of Gender and Education; her most recent book is Toward Equality: Gender and Sexuality in South African Schools in the Time of HIV and AIDS (2010). She works at the nexus of sociology and cultural studies and her research interests comprise childhood and youth studies, particularly sexuality, gender and race in education and in popular culture, and the cultural politics of education.
Her empirical work has taken place in the UK and South Africa. Overall, her theoretical focus is on the dominant and how it is held in place; this often involves investigating the experiences of those in subordinated, marginalised and/or stigmatised groups as well as those in more dominant groups. She is especially concerned with how people people negotiate these ‘differences that make a difference’ and their agency in the context of institutional settings such as schools and families. More specifically, she is interested in:
- Sexuality: questions to do with the construction of sexual identities, particularly in the context of educational institutions, popular culture and policy-making. Here she is interested in heterosexuality and the light that the experiences of queer people can throw on how it is held in place as an institution. She also concerned more widely in how different sexual identities become accepted/ acceptable or stigmatized.
- Gender: questions about gender relations in various sites such as schools and popular culture and the relationship between gender regimes and sexuality. In particular, she has been concerned to examine how masculinities are constructed and change in changing circumstances.
- Race/ethnicity: questions to do with constructions of race/ethnicity in the context of particular institutional settings. Her primary focus here has been on whiteness and on the interactions between sexuality, gender and race/ethnicity.
- Children and childhood. The question her is how children manage, perceive and negotiate intimate, familial/friendly and romantic/quasi-romantic relationships. She is also interested in how these social processes shape and are shaped by other differences that make a difference (such as ethnicity and class).
- Gender, sexuality and HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa: this is an area of research that brings together her interest in sexuality, gender and race/ethnicity. She is particularly interested in how identities or all kinds are shaped and maintained in the context of the HIV epidemic and in what kind of strategies might be used to intervene in schools and other institutional settings to reduce the prevalence of HIV in future.
- The impact of globalisation and neoliberal regimes on educational institutions (schooling and higher education) and the people within them
Serving God and Mammon: Universities and the Market for Knowledge, (with Rebecca Boden)
Forthcoming Special Issues
Thinking Education Feminisms: Engagements with the Work of Diana Leonard. Gender and Education. 2012