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Title: Constructing identities: Female head teachers perceptions and experiences in the primary sector
Authors: Jones, D
Keywords: Female headteachers;Identity;Discourse
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Citation: Educational Management Administration & Leadership, (2016)
Abstract: This article presents research undertaken with female headteachers in UK primary schools and explores several influential discourses in relation to female headteachers’ identities. It considers themes inherent in women’s narratives as they reflect upon their professional lives and discusses various identities inhabited by female leaders which emerge from the data. It also explores dominant discourses related to the masculine construction of leadership, women’s domestic responsibilities and women as enablers, which have a significant impact on women’s professional lives and upon the ways in which they are positioned. It notes that women’s narratives are shot through with ambiguity as they may inhabit several contradictory identities revealing qualities, characteristics and leadership styles which diverge from socially prescribed gender-appropriate behaviours. The article suggests that although there may appear to be a variety of identities from which women may select, there are limits to agency. It concludes that powerful discourses exist which constrain or facilitate ways of being, so impacting on leadership work and the professional lives of female headteachers. Consequently, the complex negotiations of women as they take up leadership roles in schools should be acknowledged.
ISSN: 1741-1432
Appears in Collections:Dept of Education Research Papers

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