Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Committee Member

Helen Harper

Second Committee Member

Cari L. Klecka

Number of Pages



This qualitative study examined social scripts for mothers and teachers through the lens of queer theory. It employed the constructs of normal and deviant as a method for destabilizing these scripts as part of a larger project of promoting social justice around sexual difference. Participants consisted of eight lesbian mothers with school aged children; five women whose roles included mother, educator, and lesbian; and ten public school teachers. Data sources included one focus group interview with lesbian mothers and two focus group interviews with teachers, follow-up interviews with seven teachers and seven mothers, and two individual interviews with each mother/educator/lesbian. Data were analyzed through examination of the transcripts for statements of normal and deviant. These statements were used to identify the social scripts for mothers and teachers as revealed by participants. Findings centered on participants' articulation of heteronormative social scripts. Participants interpreted scripts for mothers and teachers in ways that positioned heterosexuality as normal and categorized non-heterosexuality as deviant and problematic. This suggests that sexual difference is not included in current educational and social discourses. A key implication of this study involves the importance of destabilizing social scripts for mothers and teachers in a way that creates a space for sexual difference in teacher education.


Alternative Families; Culturally Responsive Teaching; Diversity; Finding; Lesbian; Lesbian Mothers; Mother; Mothers; Queering; Queer; Queer Theory; Scripts; Social; Teacher Education; Teachers

Controlled Subject

Teachers--Training of; Women's studies; Social psychology

File Format


File Size

3778.56 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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