This chapter explores four Irish male primary teachers’ daily experiences
of care and gender in contemporary Irish schools. Taking a feminist
poststructural approach, the study employs three data-collection
phases using the interview as the primary method of enquiry. It employs
a voice-centred relational method of data analysis, which involves four
readings of data with each reading troubling the data in different ways.
The current climate of professionalisation within the profession creates
a dispassionate distance dictating how teachers should conduct their
professional lives. This is further problematised through the concept
of gender. Men who perform "caring" roles face special difficulties
as "feminised" discourses of service and care often carry a devalued
status and do not align with dominant definitions of masculinities.
If men perform femininity through nurturance and care, their sexuality
is called into question; if they display masculinity through emotional
distance and control, their caring skills are questioned. Is there a link
between gender, care and teacher wellbeing? How does the concept
of "care" impact on teacher job satisfaction?