Research Repository

"I definitely felt an exception" Discourse analysis : A father talks about his son’s transition to school

Shorthouse, Mary C (2016) "I definitely felt an exception" Discourse analysis : A father talks about his son’s transition to school. Other thesis, University of Essex & Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust.

29April 2016 corrected final copy.pdf

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A single case study was conducted to explore how schools might better engage fathers in their children's education. Women traditionally mediate early years education, and communication from schools to parents is directed to mothers. Some fathers are more involved in the day-to-day care of their children than others, but the predominant culture, both in the reception class and at home, is feminine. Where fathers are involved in education, irrespective of mothers’ involvement, children achieve better educational outcomes. There is no existing research on what fathers say about transition to school. Fatherhood and masculinities literature using discourse analysis reveal a theoretical, functional psychoanalytic discourse in Western culture. The research question posed here is: ‘What might be learned from what a father says about his son’s transition to school?’ A qualitative research design from a relativist ontological stance and social construction epistemology was used to explore what one father said on this topic, and to emancipate his voice. Willig’s (2013) stages of Foucauldian discourse analysis provided the framework for the analysis of a researcher- transcribed interview. Transition to school was discursively constructed: constructions were compared, contrasted and located in the masculinities, feminist, psychoanalytic, educational and economic discourses. Actions and subject positions available to challenge gender roles and stereotypes in early years education and to promote fathers’ involvementwere noted. The findings revealed a complex subjectivity inthe father’s many ways of seeing and being in relation to transition to school and the theoretical collective unconscious in functional psychoanalysis. The role of educational psychologists is discussed in influencing policy to includefathers in their children’s education.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 09 May 2016 09:43
Last Modified: 09 May 2016 09:43

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