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Title: Creating an "agora" for storytelling as a way of challenging the gendered structures of academia
Contributor(s): Rindfleish, Jennifer M  (author); Sheridan, Alison J  (author)orcid ; Kjeldal, Sue-Ellen (author)
Publication Date: 2009
DOI: 10.1108/02610150910980783
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Abstract: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present personal experiences of using storytelling as a "sensemaking" tool, to argue for the benefits of this method as a process of better understanding the gendered academy and the role storytelling can play in effecting change. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on personal experiences of storytelling within workplaces, the paper explores how stories between colleagues can lead to positive change through the co-construction of new worlds of meaning which are spontaneously revised through interaction. Findings – The paper demonstrates how storytelling between individuals experiencing inequality makes visible the gendered practices in academic workplaces and can lead to a change in those experiences of the workplace. Also, such stories can be a means for prompting change through negotiation. Theoretically, a triple-loop learning environment within an organization could provide the agora required for stories about inequality to be heard continually and change to come about through negotiation. Research limitations/implications – The paper uses a method that serves as a heuristic device and as such cannot be generalized for all organizational settings. The findings offer a new but partial solution for negotiating gender inequity in academia by suggesting that there must be more storytelling in openly public spaces between colleagues to challenge and negotiate the gendered organizational cultures of academia. Practical implications – The application of the method of triple-loop learning in academic organizational settings can assist in challenging and changing gender inequity through the consistent use of narratives. Originality/value – The paper is unique in that it argues for the value of a self-reflexive narrative form of method which favours stories being shared in public spaces – the agora – as a way of addressing gender inequity within complex, male dominated professions such as academia.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Equal Opportunities International, 28(6), p. 486-499
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Place of Publication: Bradford, England
ISSN: 0261-0159
Field of Research (FOR): 130308 Gender, Sexuality and Education
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 939904 Gender Aspects of Education
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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