Beyond "No/Homo": An Institutional Ethnographic Exploration of Teachers' Understandings of Gendered Harassment Policies

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This institutional ethnography explored how teachers who attended district-sponsored professional development workshop(s) on sexuality or gendered harassment came to understand their school district's gendered harassment policies. The goal of the project was to explore how teachers constructed and understood homophobic harassment, sexual harassment, and harassment for gender non-conformity, in order to examine their understandings of those policies and how they incorporated them into their daily work.

The study is an institutional ethnography in which I explored the interactions between organizational practices, policies, and the experiences of six health and physical education teachers. This sociological approach involves an explication of how complex human actions, in this case, teachers' understandings of gendered harassment policies, are coordinated by various kinds of texts, policies, and procedures. In particular, I investigated how standards-based accountability and its accompanying school practices coordinated the activities of health and physical education teachers and their understandings of their school district's gendered harassment policies. The social relations of standards-based accountability and physical education generated an empirical ground for the analysis of how gendered harassment policies in a school setting are organized. By inquiring into the activities of health and physical education teachers in a school setting, I explicated how these teachers' knowledge of gendered harassment and gendered harassment policies is socially organized.