Homophobia and heterosexism in a college of education: A culture of fear, a culture of silence

Corrine M. Wickens, Jennifer Sandlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


In this study, we examine how broad heteronormative discourses circulate, become embodied within, negotiated by, and potentially resisted within a university, a college of education, and educators themselves. We pay special attention to how heteronormative discourses at Southwestern University (SWU) impact the various roles this college of education undertakes to train professionals in a range of human service occupations, most notably K-12 schools. In our findings, we demonstrate ways in which the institution of SWU maintains a hostile environment toward LGBTQ individuals, ways in which the college of education fails to interrogate such issues and train its educators and other human service personnel to deal with issues of sexuality and schooling, and how SWU, in regards at least to its conservative position on homosexuality, is constituted discursively as quite normal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)651-670
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2010


  • Discursive analysis
  • Homophobia
  • Schooling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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