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ERIC Number: ED468091
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
From King Arthur to Uncle Tom.
Warner, Linda Sue
This paper examines the traits of fictional characters and discusses how their characteristics have influenced modern conceptions of leadership. Based on E.D. Hirsch's study of cultural literacy and the idea that cultural knowledge is essential to the right functioning of a society, the report evaluates 29 famous figures (28 male, 1 female) and the leadership traits they portray in the writings of various authors at different time periods. Each character was ranked according to his or her capacity (intelligence, alertness, verbal facility), achievement (scholarship, knowledge, athletic accomplishment), responsibility (dependability, initiative, persistence), participation (activity, sociability, cooperativeness), status (socioeconomic position, popularity), and situation (mental level, status, skills). The review showed that leadership qualities, as identified by numerous studies, represented few cultural perspectives. In fact, cultural literacy has attempted to define the culture of a productive, responsible citizen without the assumptions of varying cultural identities. The characters often represented stereotypes that culturally literate leaders would recognize and use in common context. An appreciation of leadership requires an understanding of the participating practices that have been legitimized. It also demands an understanding of entrenched traditions accepted by both leaders and subordinates about the "leadership principle." (Contains 20 references.) (RJM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the "Administrative Leadership: Lessons from Liberal Learning" Conference (New York, NY, April 14-16, 1991).