By Susan E. Chase
Like different ladies who paintings in professions ruled by way of white males, ladies university 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 established by means of gender and racial inequalities.
In this booklet, Susan E. Chase examines those contradictory reports of energy and subjection, drawing on interviews with expert ladies of varied 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 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 indicates how those girls have built a number narrative recommendations for articulating and dealing with their ambiguous empowerment.
Innovative in belief and interdisciplinary in technique, this learn contributes to our realizing of ways common social processes―the copy 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 specialist ladies need to say approximately their lives.
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Additional resources for Ambiguous empowerment: the work narratives of women school superintendents
I argue that this story is distinct from both the co-optation story and the activist story that professional women sometimes tell. By examining how women superintendents talk about their relationships with women colleagues, I explore the structural and discursive conditions that make it difficult for them to develop collective solutions to the persistent problem of inequality in their profession. The interview material I analyze in this book belongs to a collaborative research project Colleen Bell and I began in 1986.
Many such studies document women's move into positions of power that have been (and continue to be) dominated by white men, and present women's accounts of the various forms of discrimination they face in those positions. These studies demonstrate clearly that even the most privileged women in the American work force are subject to institutionalized male and white dominance. Yet the place of language in constituting experiences of power and subjection remains undeveloped in most of these studies.
The first is historical. When Heilbrun describes the dearth of narratives in which women assume power over their lives, she is speaking in broad terms about the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. While that long history certainly continues to exert weight, it makes sense that successful women in the late 1980s would not be as burdened by it as women would have been in earlier decades. Indeed, Heilbrun acknowledges that much has changed since 1970. Second, intensive interviews create a particular context for narration, a context that differs interactionally and linguistically from that in which written (and some kinds of oral) narratives are constructed.