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ERIC Number: ED526169
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 478
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1244-5269-2
Between Scylla and Charybdis: How Catholic High School Leaders Negotiate the Polarities of Contemporary U.S. Culture within the Catholic Educational Market
Ferdinandt, Kevin William
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of St. Thomas (Minnesota)
This qualitative, comparative case study involves a multi-faceted approach to how lay leaders in four different Catholic high schools brand their schools within a broader Catholic educational marketplace. As compared with the parochial era (1884-1965), the approach of Catholic high school administrators, campus ministers, department chairs, and religion teachers within the past forty-five years has shifted from a monopolistic approach to catechesis where students from Catholic parochial schools "feed" Catholic high schools to a segmented, market-based phenomenon where students choose a Catholic high school because of its fit for their interests and familial priorities (including ideological viewpoints). The four schools in this study have four distinctive ways of managing the current, post-parochial era (1965-2009). The first aspect involves the ways in which the leaders brand and market their school--including who is welcomed, who feels comfortable, and who is/does not. This aspect attempts to explore how high school leaders have shifted to a more market-driven approach in the face of a new religious economy. The second aspect involves how those same leaders sort out the differences between the liberal social, political, and cultural influences on Catholic secondary education and the conservative social, political, and cultural influences. This second aspect includes how the schools manage the progressive and orthodox worldviews in their institutions. The third aspect involves how the four schools' brands of Catholicism are best exemplified in their marketing materials, religion curriculum, and the religion teachers and administrators. The fourth and final aspect involves how the schools deal with non-Catholic access to, as well as Sacramental access in, the schools. This aspect investigates how each school approaches Catholics and non-Catholics with respect to the Sacraments in its branding of itself. Although these four aspects may initially seem vaguely related, the overlap between them and the connection to creating a Catholic high school brand at each school is substantial. As a result, Catholic school leaders are marketing their schools in ways they never did before, like it or not, because they have to do so. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A