Discourse, Gender and Identity in Environmental Education: An Analysis of Australian Online Recruitment Advertisements

By Joy Hardy.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Whilst environmental education has fervently engaged the kind of ‘environmental identities’ it ought to endorse and strive to cultivate, the qualifier ‘environmental’ has been treated as problematic, whereas ‘identity’ has been largely treated as intuitive and unproblematic. As Payne (2000) notes: “There is a major ‘lack’ in the discourse of environmental education research. Too little in environmental education … has been said directly about ‘identity’” (p. 68). The lack to which Payne refers is an under-theorisation rather than a complete absence. This paper responds to the under-theorisation by focusing on the role of organisational discourse in identity construction and the preferred subject positions that are being constructed.

The paper analyses a corpus constructed from recruitment advertisements for environmental education positions placed with major Australian online recruitment agencies. Using Althusser’s theory of ‘interpellation’ (1977) as the overarching conceptual framework, the analysis employs content analysis (Crowl, 1993), critical discourse analysis (Fairclough, 1995) and APPRAISAL (Martin & Rose, 2007; Martin and White, 2007) to analyse questions embedded within the advertisements. This facilitates the explication of the discursive construction of organisational versions of the preferred environmental education subject. The questions that are analysed invariably construct an affectual subject in this privileged textual location.

Keywords: Environmental Education, Critical Discourse Analysis, Recruitment, Identity, Gender

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 4, Issue 7, pp.183-192. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.138MB).

Assoc. Prof. Joy Hardy

Senior Lecturer in Contextual Studies, School of Education, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia

Joy Hardy is Senior Lecturer in Contextual Studies at the University of New England, Australia. Her research interests include poststructuralist critiques of language and cultural production and the construction of (the) environment and environmental subjectivities. Her philosophical work is principally informed Deleuze and Guattari, Derrida and Levinas, and her critical discourse analysis work predominately utilises micro-linguistic techniques.

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