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Affective politics of sexual harassment 2018 AM.pdf (266.33 kB)
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An affective politics of sexual harassment at school in the 21st century: Schooling and Sexualities twenty years later

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journal contribution
posted on 14.01.2021, 05:55 authored by Leanne HighamLeanne Higham
© 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Building on work on sexual harassment in schools, this article continues one of the threads from the first Schooling and Sexualities conference held, in 1995. In so doing, it offers a contemporary account of a teacher’s sexual harassment by one of her students, through a sexually violent comment posted about her on the Rate My Teacher website. Throughout, I explore the affective politics of sexual harassment. In developing an understanding of affective politics as it plays out through an online review, a teacher, a classroom and students, I draw on the concepts of affects and assemblages, and the capacity of a sexual harassment assemblage to constitute (and de-constitute) identities. I consider how power is both increased and also diminished between student and teacher in an assemblage of gendered, sexual and neoliberal identities; and how she and her student are re-situated through the sexual harassment. Attending to the affective politics of a teacher’s sexual harassment by her student offers a way to understand violence and identities as social, material and discursive assemblages, and contributes to understanding sexual harassment in schools, particularly where teachers are targeted.


This research was supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship. The author received funding from the Victorian Department of Education for the development of Respectful Relationships materials.


Publication Date



Sex Education-Sexuality Society and Learning






14p. (p. 293-306)


Taylor & Francis



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