Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Program

Educational Leadership

Date of Award

5-2008

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

W. Hal Knight

Committee Members

Jasmine R. Renner, Louise L. MacKay, Norma Macrae

Abstract

Because academic libraries are primarily staffed by women and are relatively autonomous entities in colleges and universities, they offer a unique model of workplace gendering and feminism. This qualitative, ethnographic study examined 3 small college libraries in 3 regions of the United States and explored issues of bureaucracy and gendering in these libraries. Feminist challenges to bureaucracy emerged in the areas of hierarchy, division of labor, competition and collaboration, decision-making, and communication. Feminine practice in the libraries reflected private sphere attitudes toward work (values of community, emotionality, and caring) and an affirmation of feminine roles in the workplace. The organizational cultures of these libraries affirmed flexible scheduling, emotions and friendship at work, and parenting talk and behaviors. The library workers also engaged in an ethic of care for library users and colleagues. Individuals in the organizations expressed motivations for work not based in monetary or status gain and endorsed women's power in leadership roles. The gendering of libraries also placed strong masculinity outside of the norm, creating expectations for men to engage in androgynous or feminine behavior. Overall, the study gives voice to feminine and feminist practice in the workplace.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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