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A feminist poststructuralist analysis of Discourses invoked in the construction of women’s leadership identities in higher education

Jones, K. (2020) A feminist poststructuralist analysis of Discourses invoked in the construction of women’s leadership identities in higher education. In: Samier, E. A. and Milley, P. (eds.) Educational Administration and Leadership Identity Formation: International Theories, Problems and Challenges. Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 1-33. ISBN 9780367272906

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Abstract/Summary

The scholarly literature has witnessed many twists and turns in recent years as traditional ‘old’ style feminist discourse of discrimination and sexism has been replaced by a postfeminist Discourse of autonomy and choice (Gill 2014, Gill and Scharff 2013, Gill et al. 2017). Most recently a ‘new’ style of empowered feminist activism has (re)surfaced where women claim their voice to speak out against a wide range of issues, such as gender inequality, cultural sexism and masculine hegemony, to name just a few issues within society and specific vocational contexts. The analytical framework in this chapter draws on contemporary theorising of postfeminist and neoliberal Discourses and Discourses of gender and leadership. Focusing on women in higher education and adopting a feminist poststructuralist approach, which views language and discourse spoken as constituting subjectivity, this chapter will consider through a meta-analysis of empirical work, how women’s professional identities are shaped and constrained by competing dominant Discourses. The analysis examines the identity work invoked in women’s accounts of their workplace experiences in higher education, to illuminate how prominent Discourses are taken on by women and enacted as part of their professional identities.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education > Improving Equity and Inclusion through Education
ID Code:86523
Uncontrolled Keywords:Poststructuralist, discourse, women's leadership, higher education.
Publisher:Routledge

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