The small town of Tremont experienced a traumatic event at the high school this past school year. The repercussions of this event were felt everywhere in this small community. This qualitative study examines how two female students at the junior high school responded to this event by performing gender through the expression of personal grief. Specifically, this study questions the nature of these gender performances (Gilbert and Taylor, 1991) and the motivations that drove them. The performances staged by the two focal students differed significantly, for one student performed femininity by appropriating the role of a “damsel in distress” whereas the other appropriated the role of mother or caretaker. This study advances the argument that teachers can benefit and learn how to more effectively manage crisis situations by looking carefully at the ways in which students display grief in the school setting.
Madison Craw, ’11
Mason City, IA
Majors: Biology, Secondary Education
Sponsor: Jill Heinrich