ERIC Number: ED335695
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
"The Road from Coorain": A Journey of Power.
"The Road from Coorain" is the autobiographical story of Jill Ker Conway, the first woman president of Smith College. The story traces Conway's journey from powerlessness to power. Born in the outback of Australia, where all people were powerless in the face of the vacillations of nature, forced off the land into a city life to which she was emotionally and socially ill-adapted, manipulated by a mother crippled by the conventions of appropriate female behavior, Conway eventually found that her love of learning and pursuit of education provided the path to power. The journey from powerlessness to power, according to Ann Bookman and Sarah Morgan, requires at least three specific steps: a change of ideas about the causes of powerlessness; an awareness of systemic causes; and some courses of action which allows change in both self-perception and attitude, and ultimately in situation. Conway's change of ideas about the causes of her powerlessness came about through recognizing the similarities between the dependent relationship between Australia and Great Britain and that between her mother and herself, identifying the causes of her mother's decline into alcoholism and paranoia, and understanding the underlying causes of her own problems with her mother. Conway was forced to the second stage of empowerment when after graduating from college she was denied a job because she was a woman. Finally, her decision to leave Australia, her mother, and the duties imposed by the bush ethos permitted her to complete her journey to power. (PRA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Australia; Conway (Jill Ker); Road from Coorain (Conway); Self Empowerment; Smith College MA
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Communication Association (Chicago, IL, April 11-14, 1991). Best available copy.