ERIC Number: ED425501
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
The Social Construction of Gender in the Superintendency.
Social constructions of sexism many times become evident in a public school system when the superintendent is a woman. This paper offers a view of sexism from the perspective of women superintendents. The text discusses the distinction between sex and gender and how the role of the superintendent itself is a socially constructed position. A study here drew on interviews with three former women superintendents; each woman was interviewed three times. The findings examine generally accepted constructions of femaleness; rules of exclusion; silence; counter constructions of femaleness; the social construction of the superintendency; male constructions of the superintendency; counter constructions of the superintendency; interactions of the constructions of female gender and the superintendency; opposing constructions of femininity and the superintendency; social discourse; and leadership styles. The results show that the women in the study seemed to simultaneously embrace and reflect the prevailing constructions of femaleness where stereotypically feminine characteristics were described as points of pride and sources of strength. The women were aware of the discriminatory nature of the social constructions of the superintendency and dealt with this as part of their daily lives. (Contains 54 references.) (RJM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Diego, CA, April 13-17, 1998).