By Susan E. Chase
Like different ladies who paintings in professions ruled by way of white males, ladies institution superintendents inform tales approximately emerging to influential positions, constructing self assurance of their authority and talent, but carrying on with to confront discriminatory therapy in an profession dependent via gender and racial inequalities.
In this ebook, Susan E. Chase examines those contradictory stories of energy and subjection, drawing on interviews with expert girls of assorted ethnic and racial backgrounds who head faculties in rural, small-town, and concrete districts around the usa. Chase makes a speciality of the stress, implicit within the language those girls 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 girls have built a number narrative techniques for articulating and dealing with their ambiguous empowerment.
Innovative in belief and interdisciplinary in technique, this examine contributes to our knowing of ways normal 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 one can what expert girls need to say approximately their lives.
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Extra info for Ambiguous empowerment: the work narratives of women school superintendents
This taken-for-granted aspect of the cultural context is also evident in how Colleen and I asked interview questions and how women superintendents responded. We organized the interviews around a set of questions about the tasks and problems women educational leaders face in their current positions, the professional and interpersonal contexts in which they work, their work histories, and the relationship between their personal and professional lives. We also asked what difference gender and race or ethnicity have made to their experiences.
Like the women we interviewed, Colleen Bell and I also work in a white and male-dominated profession (academia) in which competence, com- Page 12 mitment, achievement, and ambition are integral components. There was no reason for women superintendents to conceal from us their pleasure in accomplishment and success. 17 The Cultural Tension between Individualism and Inequality Before turning to the disjunction between discourse about professional work and inequality, I need to step back and examine the broader cultural tension that makes successful women's work stories culturally interestingor story-worthyin the first place.
Leann Stephenson, Stacy Clettenberg, Holly Ewing, Linda Golden, and the late Margaret Nichols gave us excellent technical and clerical assistance with many tasks. Friends across the country offered us housing and hospitality as we visited interview sites. Allen Soltow, director of research at the University of Tulsa, supported and encouraged us all along. S. Department of Education (Grant #R117E00147), the Oklahoma Commission for Educational Leadership, the Office of Research at the University of Tulsa, and the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tulsa.
Ambiguous empowerment: the work narratives of women school superintendents by Susan E. Chase