Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Theorizing African American women's leadership in predominantly white institutions of higher education
by Stroud, Regina Stanback, Ed.D., Mills College, 2009, 137; 3352309
Abstract (Summary)

One would have to go beyond the literature on leadership to gain greater insight into African American women’s leadership in predominantly white institutions. The literature on leadership does not provide the theoretical basis, when applied in practice, to challenge systems of oppression and disproportionate privilege and power. Nor does it take racial and gender dynamics in the lives of African American women leaders into account; thus it does not fully illuminate the experiences or choices African American women in leadership positions have to make. This study expands the body of knowledge on leadership to incorporate an additional gender and racially informed construction.

Through narrative inquiry, a qualitative study of African American women’s leadership experience was conducted to address research questions with the expectation of theorizing a leadership framework not yet represented in the leadership orthodoxy. I explored whether African American women educational leaders work to change the structures of power and privilege in a leadership framework aimed at transgressing systems of oppression, a framework, I believe, is not yet named in the leadership orthodoxy.

Four extraordinary African American women leaders shared their social journey through videotaped interviews. Their stories revealed a framework that I theorize as Leading to Transgress. Leading to Transgress is a theory of leadership that is a multiracial, multi-cultural identified, gendered influenced framework informed by leaders who are a part of, or situated closely to, the masses of marginalized people of color and whose primary purpose is to influence the allocation of resources in a way that breaks down or transgresses existing systems of power and privilege in the pursuit of social justice.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Zirkel, Sabrina
Commitee: Brown, Debra L., Ketelle, Diane, Lewis, Joi D.
School: Mills College
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 70/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Community college education, Black studies, Womens studies, Higher education
Keywords: African-American women, Black feminist thought, Community college, Leadership, Narrative inquiry
Publication Number: 3352309
ISBN: 9781109089158
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