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Men in early childhood education and care: On navigating a gendered terrain

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Bhana, D., Moosa, S., Xu, Y. & Emilsen, K.
Publication Date: 
9 May 2022


Globally, the underrepresentation of men in the Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) workforce is ongoing and has been largely attributed to the construction of ECEC as ‘women’s work’. Men’s involvement in ECEC can help to deconstruct the feminisation of work and the gender binaries through which occupations are structured. Further to this, there is a need to dismantle reinforced gendered ideologies that work towards interrogating rather than supporting the presence of men in ECEC. This paper draws on selected findings from an international research project investigating men’s involvement in ECEC. It uncovers how a group of men navigate themselves within a highly gendered ECEC terrain from which they sometimes ‘dropout’. Providing nuanced understandings of how men negotiate their positions in ECEC can inform intervention strategies to increase and support men’s participation in ECEC in more progressive and gender-sensitive ways.