Ambiguous empowerment: the work narratives of women school by Susan E. Chase

By Susan E. Chase

Like different ladies who paintings in professions ruled through white males, girls college superintendents inform tales approximately emerging to influential positions, constructing self belief of their authority and skill, but carrying on with to confront discriminatory therapy in an profession established through gender and racial inequalities.

In this ebook, Susan E. Chase examines those contradictory stories of strength and subjection, drawing on interviews with expert ladies of varied ethnic and racial backgrounds who head colleges in rural, small-town, and concrete districts around the usa. Chase specializes in the strain, implicit within the language those girls use, among ostensibly gender- and race-neutral discourse approximately expert paintings and contentious, gendered, and racialized discourse approximately inequality. via shut research in their tales of luck, she indicates how those girls have built quite a number narrative ideas for articulating and dealing with their ambiguous empowerment.

Innovative in notion and interdisciplinary in method, this research contributes to our knowing of the way common social processes―the replica of tradition, the development of self-understandings―are embodied within the daily perform of storytelling. It additionally invitations us to pay attention in new how you can what expert girls need to say approximately their lives.

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Women school administratorsUnited States AttitudesInterviews. 3. Sex discrimination in educationUnited StatesInterviews. 1. Title. 2'0082dc20 94-16897 CIP British Library Cataloguing in Publication data are available. Page v In memory of Adelia Chase and Marie Olaussen Page vii CONTENTS Preface ix Part One Cultural and Discursive Contexts Chapter 1 American Culture, Professional Work, and Inequality 3 Chapter 2 Settled and Unsettled Discursive Realms 38 Part Two Narrative Strategies Chapter 3 Highlighting Competence and Excluding Subjection: Ana Martinez 65 Chapter 4 Letting Ambition Go and Reconsidering Discrimination: Denise Nelson 94 Chapter 5 Uncovering Layers of Vulnerability and Strength: Margaret Parker 120 Page viii Chapter 6 Using Professional Power to Overcome Subjection: Karen Rhodes 146 Part Three The Larger Story Chapter 7 Individual Solutions to the Collective Problem of Inequality 177 Appendix The Research Project 217 Notes 225 Index 265 Page ix PREFACE This book studies the work narratives of one group of successful professional women in the contemporary United States: women who lead the nation's public schools.

While their narratives are genderedfor example, through attention to relations with others14these successful women also speak forthrightly about their accomplishments. As Page 10 they move through their work histories and talk about their current work situations, most women superintendents embrace their power, achievement, and success, and speak with genuine enjoyment about developing themselves as competent, committed, educational leaders. Women superintendents confidently produce what the Personal Narratives Group calls counternarratives, stories in which their self-images contrast with dominant cultural models for women.

11 Thus, accomplished women have often suppressed or disguised ambition and success in recounting their experiences. "12 In her study of the autobiographies of Eleanor Roosevelt, Golda Meir, Dorothy Day, and Emmeline Pankhurst, Patricia Meyer Spacks concludes: In writing of themselves, these women of public accomplishment implicitly stress uncertainties of the personal, denying rather than glorifying ambition, evading rather than enlarging private selves. They use autobiography, paradoxically, partly as a mode of self-denial.

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