Women's ways of working: Circumventing the masculine structures operating within and upon the University

Wright, Hazel R. and Cooper, Linda and Luff, Paulette (2017) Women's ways of working: Circumventing the masculine structures operating within and upon the University. Women's Studies International Forum, 61. pp. 123-131. ISSN 0277-5395

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wsif.2016.11.006

Abstract

Three female, and feminist, academics become participant researchers to explore their working practices seeking to make visible the ways they work to wo(manage) the masculinist environment of the University. After reviewing the literature, the paper starts by considering what ‘masculinist’ means in this context, finding that it refers to both rigidity of structure positioned as ‘impartial’ and, paradoxically, processes that enable competition and the clear identification of winners and losers; a University regime compatible with neo-liberal governance. Such values are at odds with those promoted within Early Years Education where ‘caring’ and ‘inclusion’ are fundamental, embedded in a strong ‘domestic’ tradition. The paper examines the historical practice of transferring ‘mothering’ skills into the educational institution and considers current attitudes and behaviours in relation to this synergy. Analysing their own attitudes and practices through an innovative (and time-effective) methodology, AAA/I (Asynchronous Associative Auto/Inquiry), the participant researchers consider the ways in which, through collaboration, they ameliorate University processes and working conditions to support each other and their students. Findings are discussed in relation to masculinist traditions and competitiveness, collaboration and caring, and the creation of ‘protective enclaves’, feminised micro-contexts within the larger masculinist domain. Considering their actions in toto, the trio reflect on the extent that their actions promote, evade or hinder a move towards greater gender equality and admit to the personal costs of continually striving to change the working environment

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Higher Education, Gender, Reflective Practice
Faculty: Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education (for research post September 2011)
Depositing User: Paulette Luff
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2017 08:34
Last Modified: 05 Dec 2018 10:23
URI: http://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/701993

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