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dc.contributor Pella, Riana en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Carinci, Sherrie en_US
dc.contributor.author Arns, Jaymie
dc.date.accessioned 2017-12-07T22:21:36Z
dc.date.available 2017-12-07T22:21:36Z
dc.date.issued 2017-12-07
dc.date.submitted 2017-12-01
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10211.3/198629 en
dc.description Thesis (M.A., Education (Behavioral Science Gender Equity Studies))--California State University, Sacramento, 2017. en_US
dc.description.abstract Considered to be inherently sexual, the female body faces unique and disproportionate amounts of policing that their male peers do not (Whisner, 1982). In the educational setting, female students are required to take additional steps to ensure that they are not disrupting the learning environment at school (Glickman, 2016). These additional steps are laid out in educational policies like dress codes, which state the dress code rules, the rationales for those dress code rules, and the sanctions attached to dress code violations. Female bodies are unable to “automatically conform to standards based on male bodies that require a certain minimum level of skin coverage, ban certain parts of the body from exposure, or bans particular garments worn almost exclusively by women” (Glickman, 2016, p. 272). School dress codes aim to reduce disruption by removing the stimulus that is causing the distraction. However, when the distraction is the female body, girls are faced with the undue burden of conforming to gender restrictive dress codes that aim to desexualize their bodies by sexualizing them. The goal of this study was to examine 56 California high school handbooks to determine what the rationales for dress code policies are, what the sanctions attached to dress code violations are, and how many of the dress code rules target students based on their gender, race, and/or class. In order to obtain a substantial amount of data for the study, the researcher chose a qualitative content analysis of high school dress codes, without human subjects or testing. The researcher was primarily interested in the rhetoric used in high school student handbooks surrounding dress code policies and sanctions. Because of this, the handbooks themselves served as the data for this study. The purpose of this work was to provide a comprehensive look into dress code policies to determine if said policies perpetuate gender inequality in education. The use of qualitative content analysis provided the researcher with new insights surrounding dress code policies and increased their understanding of the policies in the greater social context (Krippendorff, 2013). Content analysis of the 56 California high school dress code policies found that the rules and rationales disproportionately target students based on their race and gender. The sanctions attached to dress code violations result in lost instruction time, which means that students are losing valuable learning time because of their appearance. Girls of color, boys of color, and white girls are further oppressed and marginalized through the dress code policies and enforcement of said policies. It is easy to think the solution to the problem is for students to just follow the rules, but as this study has demonstrated, the rules are quite subjective. According to the Natomas High School student handbook, “Administrators will use their own discretion in deciding what is disruptive to the educational environment” (p. 15). High school administrators, then, have the green light to write, create, and enforce dress code rules based on their own subjective views of what is disruptive to the learning environment. It is the researcher’s conclusion that dress codes work to preserve the status quo and ensure that marginalized students remain oppressed. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Education (Behavioral Science Gender Equity Studies) en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Gender en_US
dc.subject Race en_US
dc.subject Intersectionality en_US
dc.subject Sexualization en_US
dc.subject Hegemonic Ideals en_US
dc.subject Status Quo en_US
dc.subject Dress codes en_US
dc.subject Social control mechanism en_US
dc.title Undressing the dress codes: an analysis of gender in high school dress code policies en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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