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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Gendering the body : an autobiographical narrative inquiry into the pedagogy of family rituals Stubbs, Jean

Abstract

My thesis is an inquiry into issues of narrative, childhood history, gender and the body. In particular it offers a critical inquiry into the pedagogy of family rituals. Supporting this endeavour I marshal the theoretical strengths of feminist theory and heuristic writing pertaining to autobiographical narrative to conduct this research. Writing and examining personal narratives raises questions and challenges about issues of voice, gender, history, and the interpretation, meaning and value of narrative within our current culture. It is an autoethnographic and experiential inquiry in which I explore my own childhood experience from the perspectives of New Zealand small town girl, Canadian urban middle class woman, remarried mother, wife, teacher, writer and researcher. This thesis is an expression of my desire to re(discover) and address the positions I occupied in childhood as they shaped my personal notion of gender. The process of writing myself undresses and re(dresses) the child I once was. Through autobiographical narratives and theoretical inquiry, my thesis demonstrates the potential of autobiographical writing to reveal how the history of childhood and the pedagogy of family rituals shape the experience of becoming a gendered body.

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