By Susan E. Chase

ISBN-10: 087023949X

ISBN-13: 9780870239496

Like different ladies who paintings in professions ruled by means of white males, ladies college superintendents inform tales approximately emerging to influential positions, constructing self assurance of their authority and talent, but carrying on with to confront discriminatory remedy in an profession dependent through gender and racial inequalities.

In this e-book, Susan E. Chase examines those contradictory stories of energy and subjection, drawing on interviews with specialist girls of assorted ethnic and racial backgrounds who head faculties in rural, small-town, and concrete districts around the usa. Chase specializes in the stress, implicit within the language those ladies use, among ostensibly gender- and race-neutral discourse approximately specialist paintings and contentious, gendered, and racialized discourse approximately inequality. via shut research in their tales of luck, she exhibits how those ladies have built various narrative techniques for articulating and dealing with their ambiguous empowerment.

Innovative in belief and interdisciplinary in technique, this learn contributes to our realizing 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 hear in new how one can what specialist girls need to say approximately their lives.

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Parker constantly juxtaposes her professional success and her subjection to men's greater power, and over the course of the interview she slowly uncovers deeper layers of her personal strength and vulnerability. Rhodes uses discourse about professional power and individualism to describe how she overcomes sexist treatment and integrates herself into the professional community. Part 3 focuses on the larger story communicated by these four women's narratives. In chapter 7, I argue that despite their diver- Page xiii sity, a certain commonality collects the narratives: in varying degrees, all of these superintendents employ narrative strategies that partially dismantle and partially preserve the individualistic, gender- and race-neutral character of the discursive realm of professional work.

Does the contemporary situation mean the women's movement has succeeded or failed? In this cultural context, it is no surprise that the popular media pay much more attention to the relatively small and privileged group of women in high-paying, prestigious, male-dominated professions than to the majority of women who work in low-paying, female-dominated occupations. Generally speaking, sociologists and other social scientists argue that structural and cultural barriers continue to impede women's integration into white- and male-dominated professions.

8 In addition, then, to making herself intelligible within the cultural context, a narrator also makes her story meaningful in specific ways, on this occasion, to this audience. In these two senses, every storyteller tells her own story. 9 Within the substantial body of research that has developed around women's written and oral narratives, a major focus is the disjunction between these metanarratives and women's actual lived experiences, a disjunction that is particularly evident in narratives by and about women who have been successful through paths traditionally reserved for men.

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


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