2010

Authors

  • Damien W. Riggs Damien W. Riggs
  • Indigo Willing Indigo Willing

Multiple formations of family have always been a part of Australia's social and historical landscape, yet social norms typically function to margilise some family forms while according others a privileged status. Margilisation on the basis of sexuality, for example, whilst arguably somewhat less prevalent than in previous decades, nonetheless continues for those families positioned outside the heteronorm. Institutions such as schools can play an important role in transforming margilising practices, yet research such as that presented in this article suggests that schools often also perpetuate margilisation, even if unintentiolly. Drawing on interviews conducted with twenty-three lesbian mothers, this article highlights the often subtle ways in which such mothers with children in South Australian primary schools experience margilisation by educators. Specifically, we argue that margilisation occurs in the form of injunctions made upon lesbian mothers to inform educators about their families (and to do so in often highly normative ways), to accept that it is their role to mage discrimition, and to treat as routine the margilisation of their families. Such findings indicate that changes still remain necessary within Australian educatiol practices in order to ensure the full inclusion of lesbian mother families on terms of their own making.