Through the lenses of feminist theory : exploring the past, present and futures of educational equality for migrant learners

Lovin, C. Laura (2019) Through the lenses of feminist theory : exploring the past, present and futures of educational equality for migrant learners. Genero: a Journal of Feminist Theory and Cultural Studies, 23 (1). pp. 1-34. ISSN 1451-2203 (

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This paper explores the contributions offered by feminist theories (feminist constructionism, feminist anti-essentialist critiques, the concept of the feminisation of migration, and intersectional analysis) to analytical inquiries into the migration-education nexus. The paper starts with an extended introduction that situates education in relation to migration phenomena as well as the larger contexts of nation building, colonial expansion, and uneven regional development. Its engagement with feminist theories is oriented toward generating a view on education that enables regimes of historical visibility and analytical orientations able to complicate the understanding of western and global North countries as spaces of opportunity, fairness, and equal treatment where hard work and good educational credentials guarantee upward socioeconomic mobility to all ‘good’ migrants. The first part of the paper situates the analytics of feminist constructionism in relation to state interventions at the intersection of migration-education regimes by exploring the confluences between biological and cultural determinisms in shaping the life prospects of migrants through gendering and racialising the socio-economic roles and hierarchies of human value and potential of present day globalised order. Starting with the concept of feminisation of migration and concluding with the analytics of intersectionality, the second part of the paper demonstrates how the blind spots of research and policies left by research and policy in relation to gendering and racialising processes embedded in historical and contemporary systems of power lead to outcomes that fail to deliver visions for educational equality for migrant learners.