A FOOT IN TWO WORLDS: A NARRATIVE INQUIRY OF THE EXPERIENCES OF WORKING CLASS WOMEN MANAGERS

Open Access
Author:
Dielmann, Karen McMillen
Graduate Program:
Adult Education
Degree:
Doctor of Education
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
December 10, 2008
Committee Members:
  • Daniele D Flannery, Dissertation Advisor
  • Daniele D Flannery, Committee Chair
  • Patricia Angelica Cranton, Committee Member
  • Holly L Angelique, Committee Member
  • Triparna B Vasavada, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • Working class women; Women in Management
Abstract:
This qualitative study used narrative inquiry to explore the experiences of nine working class women managers. Using a critical feminist lens, the influence and effect of the dominant culture and class expectations placed upon them as a result of their gender, class and position within the organization were explored through the stories the women told about their lives. The narratives, co-constructed by the women and the researcher, were not only analyzed for commonalities and differences, they were also reviewed to expose the effect of power relationships on the women’s lives and learning. The analysis suggests that hegemony and power have played a role not only in their working class backgrounds, but also in their experiences as managers and their interpretations of those experiences. Implications for adult education and human resource development practice are presented, and suggestions for related future research are offered.