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Caribbean Journal of Education

Interrogating the School as a Social System: Going Beyond Sex Stratification

Publication Date: 
April 2007

Barriteau (1998, 187) proposes a theoretical framework which, she purports, can be used to examine how the concept of gender and gender systems operate within the cultural, social and political economy of states. She further indicates that a broader intention was to generate a gendered analytical model, which could be applied to studying a wide range of social and economic phenomena inherent in Caribbean and other societies.
     In this article, a somewhat modified version of the Barriteau model is presented and used to design a study to analyse the extent to which two coeducational secondary level schools, in contrasting socio-economic locations, are organized around distinguishing features of a gender system. Schools from contrasting social settings were studied to facilitate an assessment of the extent to which gender relations in the social system of the school are mediated by social class. A secondary intention was to assess the extent to which the model and the protocol and strategies for data collection were adequate for interrogating stratification in mixed-sex educational settings.

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