Women leaders 'Doing emotional labour' in Atlantic Canada: Leading in an era of neoliberalism
LE3 .A278 2016
Master of Education
This thesis reports on the findings of a feminist qualitative case study. The two participants, both female, reside in Atlantic Canada. One participant is currently the principal of grades primary to 9 in the public sector and the other is a recently retired Head of an independent school. One hour long semi-structured ethnographic interview was conducted with each participant. For both women, the academic struggles of their daughters influenced their educational values, as did their many years of teaching experience. They both experienced pressure to conform to the demands of the neoliberal era and experienced unanticipated emotional stress (‘emotional labour’) in fulfilling their roles. How both women dealt with these pressures, in their different contexts, is the subject of this study. The findings show that both women are battling intensification, deskilling, and de-professionization in their work. They are both strong women who are challenging neoliberal pressures to protect their teachers by enacting Regressionsverbot, that is, a resistance or counter narrative to unwanted pressure. At times this can take an emotional toll, which has ramifications for their working relationships.
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