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”Is i magen och ett varmt hjärta”: Konstruktionen av skolledarskap i ett könsperspektiv
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Education.
2006 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to investigate the discursive construction of school leadership in a gender perspective and the meanings attached to school leadership. Theoretically, I draw on discourse analysis, and feminist poststructuralist theories have been my source of inspiration. Discourse, subjectivity, subject positions and power are key concepts applied to the analysis of the data. Four male and four female school leaders representing eight primary and secondary schools were interviewed. Furthermore, interviews were carried out with two teachers at each of these schools: in total nine female and seven male teachers were interviewed.

The leaders and teachers talk about leadership in relation to four different arenas, which I have labelled the teachers’, the children’s, the parents’ and the societal arena respectively. Three main positions have been identified for the school leaders: (1) the supporter, (2) the manager and (3) the pedagogical leader. Most of the statements deal with the relation to the teachers, whereas the parents’ arena is not much talked about.

As for gender, both male and female school leaders construct themselves as leaders in rather similar ways. Both men and women activate the three positions in similar ways. Women do not repeat the supporter position more often than men, and men do not position themselves as managers more frequently than women. This indicates that traditional gender discourses do not govern the school leaders’ talk about school leadership. For the position of pedagogical leader, some gender differences have been distinguished. The men position themselves as pedagogical leaders, whose mission it is to take the lead in pedagogical issues, whilst the women talk about the importance of evaluating and reflecting on their pedagogical leadership. Gender discourses seem to affect the way teachers construct school leadership, as male leaders who act as supporters are sometimes positioned as deviant. Instead, especially female teachers expect their male leader to act as a manager. Furthermore, the female teachers construct female school leaders as supporters to a higher extent than the male teachers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Pedagogik , 2006. , 157 p.
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Pedagogiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 0281-6768 ; 81
Keyword [en]
School leadership, gender, discourse analysis, feminist post-structuralism, subject positions and social construction
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-901ISBN: 91-7264-177-0OAI: diva2:144979
Public defence
2006-11-17, MA 121, MIT huset, 10:00
Available from: 2006-10-27 Created: 2006-10-27Bibliographically approved

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