By Susan E. Chase
Like different girls who paintings in professions ruled by means of white males, girls college superintendents inform tales approximately emerging to influential positions, constructing self belief of their authority and talent, but carrying on with to confront discriminatory therapy in an profession based through gender and racial inequalities.
In this publication, 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 makes a speciality of the strain, 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 girls have built quite a number narrative thoughts for articulating and dealing with their ambiguous empowerment.
Innovative in notion and interdisciplinary in method, this examine contributes to our realizing 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 specialist ladies need to say approximately their lives.
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Additional info for Ambiguous empowerment: the work narratives of women school superintendents
30 In the contemporary United States, we take for granted that the professions are integral to society's functioning, that professional Page 18 work is a sphere of achievement and competence based in specialized knowledge useful to society at large, that such work encourages professionals to develop identities based in their work, and that professionals enjoy stature in their communities because of their expertise and the perceived importance of the work they do. In addition, professionals in the public sector are expected to use their expertise to serve the public good.
36 As it is usually constituted in everyday talk, discourse about professional work purports to be neutral with respect to gender and race. Within this discursive realm, competent and ambitious persons achieve as individuals, not as men, women, whites, Hispanics, or Blacks. While feminist scholars have shown that seemingly neutral discourse is often gendered and racialized,37 their criticisms do not necessarily transform the everyday use of professional discourse and the unquestioned sense that it is gender- and race-neutral.
Clark Dougan, my editor at the University of Massachusetts Press, guided me patiently through the entire publishing process. I appreciate the careful attention Pam Wilkinson, managing editor, and Dawn Potter, copy editor, gave to my manuscript. The influence of my teachersAlan Blum, Peter McHugh, and the late Stephen Karatheodorisruns deeply throughout this book. They have been my constant interlocutors as I struggled to articulate in my own way the theoretical commitments and methodological interests that serve as the foundation for this study.
Ambiguous empowerment: the work narratives of women school superintendents by Susan E. Chase