Ambiguous Empowerment: The Work Narratives of Women School by Susan E. Chase

By Susan E. Chase

Like different girls who paintings in professions ruled by way of white males, girls tuition superintendents inform tales approximately emerging to influential positions, constructing self belief of their authority and talent, but carrying on with to confront discriminatory remedy in an career dependent via gender and racial inequalities.

In this publication, Susan E. Chase examines those contradictory reviews of strength and subjection, drawing on interviews with specialist girls of assorted 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 ladies have built quite a number narrative ideas for articulating and dealing with their ambiguous empowerment.

Innovative in perception and interdisciplinary in procedure, this learn contributes to our knowing of the way 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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Extra info for Ambiguous Empowerment: The Work Narratives of Women School Superintendents (Women's Studies/Education/Sociology)

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When professional women narrate their experiences of power and subjection, they draw on meaning systemsdiscoursesthat American culture provides for talking about professional achievement on the one hand and inequality on the other. By shifting my focus to narrative practices, then, my study deepens our comprehension of how American culture constrains professional women's self-understandings and how they struggle against those constraints. This dynamic relationship between culture and experience comes to light only when we attend to the narrative process itself.

Importantly, in these women's storiesand I suspect this would be true of most Americans' accounts of discriminationvictimization is never the end of the story. In our culture, talk about discrimination almost always includes an account of how one responds to such treatment: the victim is rarely wholly a victim. Although there is a great range in how women superintendents talk about experiences of discrimination and much diversity in how they articulate their responses to such treatment, all of them acknowledge that such experience must be addressed within their work stories.

Through that narrative process, women construct self-understandings that both shape and are shaped by those cultural discourses. My narrative is also about the ways researchers elicit and interpret stories heard during interviews. In recent years, some social scientists have begun to study how interviewees tell their stories by attending to the cultural, linguistic, and interactional contexts and processes of storytelling. Most researchers usually ignore these contexts and processes and focus simply on what respondents say.

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