Chapter 4: Reconfiguring Sexuality Education as an Assemblage: Exploring Affective Becomings in a Research ‘Classroom’

  • Kathleen Quinlivan
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Gender and Education book series (GED)


Conceptualising my experiences as a researcher working with a group of diverse high school students over six years in focus groups increasingly as sites of sexuality education, I map the ways in which our encounters shifted in ways which enabled an exploration, and in some instances a reconfiguration, of contemporary normalising sexuality and gender politics. This chapter explores the ways in which my experiments with Deleuzo-Guattarian theory (1987) enabling me as a researcher/ teacher to foreground the sex and gender politics of young people’s everyday lives. Working with Deleuze and Guattari’s (1987) inter-related concepts of assemblage and becoming were helpful in connecting our micro-encounters to broader sites of sexuality education affecting the student’s lives, and pedagogically reconceptualising our intra-actions in terms of dynamic and processual lived intra-actions which produced both restrictive and expansive affective and desiring flows. Characterised by a rolling sense of constraint and possibility, I show how moments of ‘becoming other’ emerged for both the students and myself. While pedagogically demanding, I suggest that reconfiguring sexuality education programmes as experimental affective and desiring sites gestures towards some exciting possibilities for engaging otherwise with the ways that normative sex and gender politics are being played out in young people’s lives.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathleen Quinlivan
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand

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