ERIC Number: ED334036
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Case Study of Hegemonic Confrontation in a Rural School District: Four Women and a Prick at the Newspaper.
McKerrow, K. Kelly; Lee, Sharon Shockley
This paper presents a critical analysis of events that surrounded the efforts of four mothers to gain access to the educational decision-making process. A basic premise is that a hegemonic relationship based upon gender pervades American education. The roles of administrator and parent are "gendered" concepts that affect the ways that people in these roles are treated. This case study, based on participant observation, examines the hegemony of gender in one small, rural, midwestern school district, where an administration perception was that all the school's problems were caused by "four bitches and a prick at the newspaper." The four women had handicapped children receiving special services, and they encountered administration resistance when they insisted on actively participating in educational decisions concerning their children. All administrators and board of education members, except the board president, were male. The real "problem" was that the four women asked questions and demanded answers; they moved outside the role allotted to them by the organization. They organized a parent support group, brought their grievances to the board of education, and, finally, filed a civil rights complaint. The local newspaper editor criticized the board's inaccessibility. After a climactic board meeting, the administration's control began to unravel. The district was found guilty of civil rights violations and of harassing parents and students; the administration lost credibility; and board members and administrators were replaced. The use of language to control perceptions and maintain the dominant ideology is discussed. This paper contains 38 references. (SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Board Parent Relationship; Hegemony; Parent Empowerment
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (72nd, Chicago, IL, April 3-7, 1991).