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Fuller, Kay (2014) Looking for the women in Baron and

Taylor's (1969) Educational administration and the social

sciences. Journal of Educational Administration and

History, 46 (3). pp. 326-350. ISSN 1478-7431

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For more information, please contact eprints@nottingham.ac.uk CJEH919903 Techset Composition India (P) Ltd., Bangalore and Chennai, India 5/16/2014 Journal of Educational Administration and History, 2014 Vol. 46, No. 3, 325– 349, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00220620.2014.919903 Looking for the women in Baron and Taylor’s (1969) Educational administration and the social sciences Kay Fuller∗ 10 School of Education, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK A search for women in Baron and Taylor’s (1969) Educational administration and the social sciences [London: The Athlone Press] using feminist poststructural discourse analysis (FPDA) has revealed a changing discourse about gendered educational administration over the course of 50 years. Whilst few women are featured in the text itself, citations of women’s writing surface the historical contributions of women as headmistresses and public servants. Women who have cited the text since its publication have challenged gendered theory and academic writing conventions. FPDA is used to explore the gendered educational administration discourse through the intertextuality of academic writing. Fluctuations between powerfulness and powerlessness are revealed depending on the socio-political context and women’s circumstances.

Keywords: gender; educational administration; feminist poststructural discourse analysis; headmistresses; public servants; academic writing Introduction Baron and Taylor’s (1969) book Educational administration and the social sciences was written at a time of great social change. The women’s movement underway in 1969 is usually located in the second wave feminism that championed women’s rights. Feminist academics and teachers were turning their attention to the presence (or absence) of women in educational textbooks and materials. Gender theory was understood to refer to theories of equality or difference based on essentialist differences between women and men (see Scott 1988). By contrast, a search for women in the text, undertaken in the twenty-first century, does not imply they comprise a single homogenous group based on biological sex.

This paper reports findings from an analysis of Baron and Taylor’s (1969) book using the principles of feminist poststructural discourse analysis (FPDA). A content analysis of the text itself develops into a poststructural ∗ Email: k.e.fuller@bham.ac.uk # 2014 Taylor & Francis 326 K. Fuller analysis of its relationship with related texts to incorporate a consideration of metaphors, forms of relationship and patterns of power and desire identified in those texts (Walkerdine 1990). This approach has surfaced a changing discourse regarding gender and educational administration as it has developed over time. More usually used in the analysis of spoken text, FPDA is used for the first time to look at gendered educational leadership through the intertextuality of academic texts written over the course of half a century. The paper is made up of four further sections. The next gives a brief overview of the sociopolitical context in 1969. There follows an outline of how the text was analysed.

The fourth section presents the findings regarding gendered language, the representation of women and the intertextuality between the book and women’s academic writing. I go on to discuss the changing discourse about gender and educational administration as it emerged from the analysis of the written texts.

The socio-political context In 1969, few women were engaged in national and international politics.

Barbara Castle held office in the UK, with only three women Cabinet predecessors (including Ellen Wilkinson, Minister for Education 1945 – 1947) (Centre for Advancement of Women in Politics). In world politics, Sirimavo Bandaranaike was prime minister of Ceylon (Sri Lanka from 1972), Indira Gandhi prime minister of India and Golda Meir premier of Israel (Williams 1998). In the USA, Richard Nixon was embarrassed into setting up the Task Force on Women’s Rights and Responsibilities to recruit and train women for upperlevel governmental positions (Stout 2012).

In 1969, Friedan’s (1963) The feminine mystique had already described women’s widespread unhappiness. Some women were leading local Women’s Liberation Movement groups developing across the UK (Feminist Archive North). At the same time political reforms were designed to impact on women’s everyday lives with regard to divorce and abortion, for example.





Oral contraception was increasingly accessible. Second wave feminism was underway. The Stonewall Riots in New York marked the starting point of the modern gay rights movement, although the UK Homosexual Law Reform Act had already passed in 1967. In the USA, Civil Rights legislation from the 1950s was already designed to allow desegregation of schools and impact on legal representation and voting rights. Nevertheless, Civil Rights remained a huge issue and in 1969, Coretta Scott King was the first woman to speak from the pulpit of St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Against this socio-political backdrop, Baron and Taylor (1969, p. 6) suggested that the field of educational administration encompassed, ‘the activities of Parliament at one end of the scale and the activities of any home with children and students at the other’. However, such an inclusive approach in Journal of Educational Administration and History 327 terms of field position (Gunter 2002a, 2003b) did not extend to explicitly include women in positions of power or the problematisation of gendered theory (Gunter 2000). In this paper, I specifically look for the women in Educational administration and the social sciences (Baron and Taylor 1969) using FPDA. In the section that follows I provide an overview of gender theory and an account of the frames of analysis using FPDA.

Gender theory The development of feminism has been described in terms of ‘waves’ associated with historical movements. ‘First wave’ feminism is usually associated with the women’s suffrage movements of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The ’second wave’ feminism of the late 1960s and 1970s that championed women’s rights has been criticised for perpetuating a notion of universal womanhood through ‘racist, classist, and colonialist assumptions in attempting to “speak for” all women’ and seen to ‘privilege[d] the interests of white, middle-class, heterosexual women’ (Ingraham 1994, p. 204). ‘Third wave’ feminism from the 1990s refers to theory that incorporates constructivist principles and poststructuralism (Baxter 2003). It resists essentialism. Although these historical ‘waves’ are widely accepted and referred to, this notion has been critiqued. Baxter (2003) challenges whether feminist history should be characterised chronologically as historical ‘waves’ as all arguing key feminist writers have combined modernist and post-structuralist thinking in a single text. Feminist theorists might rather conceptualise post-structuralist feminism as ‘one of several linked but competing theoretical strands within feminist history’ (Baxter 2003, p. 5). Gender theorists have long recognised the impact of intersectionality (Crenshaw 1991), the multiplicity of ‘femininities’ (Connell 2005) and the performativity of gender disconnected from biological sex (Butler 1990, 2004). Roth (2004, p. 7) claims second wave feminism has been ‘whitewashed’ in part by feminist scholars, albeit unintentionally. Thompson (2002, p. 337) sets the record straight by including ‘women of color and white antiracist women [to illuminate] the rise of multiracial feminism’.

There is a precedent for recovering the histories of marginalised groups of women. FPDA is a supplementary form of discourse analysis that resonates with aspects of critical discourse analysis (CDA) (Baxter 2003). Each sees discourse as social practice; recognises the performative, diverse and multiple nature of identities; acknowledges the construction of meaning within context-specific settings; has an interest in deconstruction in working out binary power relations; recognises interdiscursivity and requires continuous self-reflexivity about values and assumptions made by discourse analysis (Baxter 2008). A characteristic of CDA is its concern with social life and the role of discourse in it (Blackledge 2005). Whilst requiring ‘very close attention to the details of textual features’ (Blackledge 2005, p. 3) it is not solely 328 K. Fuller concerned with language and language use. It opposes those who ‘abuse text and talk in order to establish, confirm or legitimate their abuse of power’ (Blackledge 2005, p. 3). Thus CDA links linguistics with sociology. It is

through spoken and written texts that we learn:

how to recognize, represent, and ‘be’,... that cultural categories and versions of children, students, adults, and workers are built up, established in a hierarchical social grid of the ‘normal’, and taught and learned: categories of gender identity, sexual desire, ethnic identity, class and work, regional solidarity, citizenship and national identity. (Luke 1995, p. 14) The CDA of spoken and written texts in education provides evidence of ‘the exclusion and silencing of issues of difference under the auspices of a colorblind, gender-blind, homogenous approach to curriculum and instruction’ (Luke 1995, p. 38). It follows that an analysis of Educational administration and the social sciences (Baron and Taylor 1969) might reveal the dominant gendered discourse through which readers ‘learn to recognize, represent, and “be”’ (Luke 1995, p. 14) educational administrators. Here, I take up the challenge to apply FPDA methods to written text (Baxter 2003).

The feminist focus has arisen from an invitation to look at Baron and Taylor’s (1969) book from the perspective of ‘the missing woman’. There is a ‘quest to release the voices of those who have been silenced or suppressed’ (Baxter 2003, p. 66). FPDA ‘means giving space to marginalised or silenced 155 voices (such as certain girls who say little in classroom settings, or those women whose voices are overlooked or silenced in management settings)’ (Baxter 2008, p. 247). There is a precedent for recovering marginalised histories of women in English educational administration (Grace 1995). Pedersen (1987) traced the shift from ‘lady-teachers’ (p. 102) to educated ‘professional 160 wom(en)’ (p. 171) and there are accounts of women leading high schools in the nineteenth century (Glenday and Price 1974, Watts 1998). In seeking out women I focus on the binary power relations in educational administration.

However, FPDA recognises complexity rather than polarisation of subjects of

study:

males are not polarised as villains and females as victims in any oppositional sense, nor even to presume that women as a category are necessarily powerless, disadvantaged or oppressed by ‘the other’. Rather, it argues that female subject positions are complex, shifting and multiply located. (Baxter 2008, p. 248) Rather, by engaging in competing discourses we shift constantly between positions of powerfulness and powerlessness. The declaration of an ideological motive in looking specifically for women in the text resonates with the FPDA principle of self-reflexivity (Baxter 2003). My interpretation of women’s subject positions is open to debate, it is informed by my twentyrst century understanding of gendered educational leadership as a white, Journal of Educational Administration and History 329 now middle-class, academic who was once deputy headteacher of a secondary school (see Fuller 2013).

I take a deconstructionist approach in recognising the shifting property of

discourses within the text(s) as they are imbued with meaning by the interdiscursivity of multiple readers and writers. Baxter (2008, p. 248) contends:

speakers do not exist outside discourse. From the moment we are born, we enter a social world that is infused by competing discourses. We make sense of our existence through such discourses – pre-existing knowledge systems which constantly mediate our thoughts and experiences.

It is because a piece of written text or ‘a stretch of speech or talk is continuously reconstructed or reproduced through discourse, never outside it’ (Baxter 2008, p. 248) that the distinction between text and context is ‘collapsed by FPDA in favour of the concept of interdiscursivity, where one discourse is always negotiated, challenged, evolved and adjusted through the lens of other discourses’ (Baxter 2008, p. 248). As the focus of this special edition the discourses in Educational administration and the social sciences (Baron and Taylor 1969) are deconstructed and reconstructed through the lens of the various contributing authors as well as authors who have cited the work since publication.

Thus, women are sought in the text through the micro-analysis of language used by contributing authors; the representation of women in terms of position, activities and possessions; and the intertextuality ‘in which texts are always infused and inscribed with traces of other texts’ (Baxter 2003, p. 53). The relationship between the book and women’s writing is explored in relation to gender and educational administration. In the section that follows I present the findings of each focused analysis in turn.



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