Australian boys at risk? The new vocational agendas in schooling

Jane Kenway, Peter Watkins, Karen Tregenza

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


This chapter examines the well-popularised and increasingly popular claims that boys are at risk in the mid-1990s. It argues that while there are grains of truth in such claims, they are also simplistic and unhelpful for educational policy makers and teachers. The case is made for a more nuanced understanding of gender and risk in the context of widespread social change. This argument is advanced with particular reference to vocational education policies for schools. We begin the chapter with a discussion of changing times and their implications for policy with particular reference to vocational education and gender reform policies. Next we explore the concept of risk as it has been applied to boys, to “students at risk�? and to “risk society�?. We then focus on the issue of vocational education, gender and risk and introduce the empirical work from which this chapter is drawn. Under this heading we consider the gendered dimensions of three areas of social change and their implications for vocational education: risk, autonomy, security and trust; the restructuring of certain transitions; and gender convergence and intensification.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGender Issues in International Education
Subtitle of host publicationBeyond Policy and Practice
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781135656188
ISBN (Print)9780815328612
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes

Cite this