Feminism in the Stacks Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters 2010 Conference    March 26, 2010 Sharon Ladenson   ...
Issues to Consider <ul><li>Do Generation X  librarians consider  themselves to be  feminists?  </li></ul><ul><li>What impa...
Issues to Consider <ul><li>Do differences  among the  generations shape  gendered  communication  in libraries?  </li></ul...
Issues to Consider <ul><li>What are the differences  between second and  third wave feminism, and  how have the changes  i...
Data Collection <ul><li>Survey Monkey </li></ul><ul><li>Distributed to electronic discussion lists </li></ul><ul><li>560 r...
About the Respondents <ul><li>87.9 percent were female </li></ul><ul><li>42.9 percent were Generation Xers </li></ul><ul><...
Feminist Identity <ul><li>More than three- quarters  (78.6 percent)  identified as  feminist. </li></ul>Flickr Commons/Jay...
Second Wave Feminism <ul><li>Resurgence of feminism during the 1960s and 1970s </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Viewed the personal  ...
Third Wave Feminism <ul><li>“ The defining characteristic  of the third wave is coming  of age in the 1980s and  1990s.” (...
Defining Feminism <ul><li>Individual choice </li></ul><ul><li>Equality </li></ul><ul><li>Diversity of gender  identities <...
Influencing Library Work <ul><li>Treating patrons and  colleagues equally </li></ul><ul><li>Balanced viewpoints in  collec...
Gender and Promotion <ul><li>Studies focused on  women in management  positions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increasing number of...
Gender and Promotion <ul><li>Nearly three-quarters (72.7 percent) said it is their opinion that gender does not have an im...
Gender in the Workplace <ul><li>Family-friendly scheduling practices and policies for both women and men </li></ul>Feminis...
Workplace Communication <ul><li>Literature documents gender differences in communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Women use m...
Workplace Communication <ul><li>Some examples from survey respondents of the impact of gender on communication: </li></ul>...
Workplace Communication <ul><li>Many respondents said age has a greater impact than gender on communication in the workpla...
Workplace Communication <ul><li>Impact of technology noted by literature, some survey respondents </li></ul><ul><ul><li>So...
Conclusions <ul><li>Quantitative data support existing research showing the increase of women in library management positi...
For Future Study <ul><li>Investigate the impact of sexuality and race on hiring, promotion and management in libraries. </...
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Feminism in the Stacks

  1. 1. Feminism in the Stacks Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters 2010 Conference  March 26, 2010 Sharon Ladenson  Michigan State University Libraries Gloriane Peck  Library of Michigan
  2. 2. Issues to Consider <ul><li>Do Generation X librarians consider themselves to be feminists? </li></ul><ul><li>What impact does feminism have on the work of Generation X librarians and others? </li></ul>Flickr Commons/natashalcd Feminism in the Stacks  Michigan Academy 2010
  3. 3. Issues to Consider <ul><li>Do differences among the generations shape gendered communication in libraries? </li></ul>Life images/Google Feminism in the Stacks  Michigan Academy 2010
  4. 4. Issues to Consider <ul><li>What are the differences between second and third wave feminism, and how have the changes in feminist philosophy and activism influenced Gen-X librarians and others? </li></ul>Flickr Commons/Linden Tea Feminism in the Stacks  Michigan Academy 2010
  5. 5. Data Collection <ul><li>Survey Monkey </li></ul><ul><li>Distributed to electronic discussion lists </li></ul><ul><li>560 responses between December 11, 2009 and January 31, 2010 </li></ul>Feminism in the Stacks  Michigan Academy 2010
  6. 6. About the Respondents <ul><li>87.9 percent were female </li></ul><ul><li>42.9 percent were Generation Xers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ages 29 to 43 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>38.2 percent were Baby Boomers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ages 44 to 63 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>17.9 percent were Millennials </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ages 20 to 28 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1.1 percent were Traditionalists </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ages 64 and older </li></ul></ul>Feminism in the Stacks  Michigan Academy 2010
  7. 7. Feminist Identity <ul><li>More than three- quarters (78.6 percent) identified as feminist. </li></ul>Flickr Commons/Jay Morrison Feminism in the Stacks  Michigan Academy 2010
  8. 8. Second Wave Feminism <ul><li>Resurgence of feminism during the 1960s and 1970s </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Viewed the personal as political </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Beauty standards </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sexuality and gender roles </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Violence against women </li></ul></ul></ul>Feminism in the Stacks  Michigan Academy 2010
  9. 9. Third Wave Feminism <ul><li>“ The defining characteristic of the third wave is coming of age in the 1980s and 1990s.” (Gilley) </li></ul><ul><li>Women of color </li></ul><ul><li>Celebrate individual freedom of choice </li></ul><ul><li>Sexuality and gender bending </li></ul>Feminism in the Stacks  Michigan Academy 2010
  10. 10. Defining Feminism <ul><li>Individual choice </li></ul><ul><li>Equality </li></ul><ul><li>Diversity of gender identities </li></ul><ul><li>Awareness of gender bias </li></ul>Feminism in the Stacks  Michigan Academy 2010
  11. 11. Influencing Library Work <ul><li>Treating patrons and colleagues equally </li></ul><ul><li>Balanced viewpoints in collection development and in reference service </li></ul><ul><li>The library as a place for all people </li></ul><ul><li>Promoting self-esteem of users </li></ul>Life images/Google Feminism in the Stacks  Michigan Academy 2010
  12. 12. Gender and Promotion <ul><li>Studies focused on women in management positions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increasing number of women in top jobs </li></ul></ul>Flickr Commons/MyEyeSees Feminism in the Stacks  Michigan Academy 2010
  13. 13. Gender and Promotion <ul><li>Nearly three-quarters (72.7 percent) said it is their opinion that gender does not have an impact on hiring or promotion </li></ul><ul><li>But the qualitative findings present a very different picture. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Men more quickly promoted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Men sought out to promote diversity </li></ul></ul>Feminism in the Stacks  Michigan Academy 2010
  14. 14. Gender in the Workplace <ul><li>Family-friendly scheduling practices and policies for both women and men </li></ul>Feminism in the Stacks  Michigan Academy 2010
  15. 15. Workplace Communication <ul><li>Literature documents gender differences in communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Women use more words, both written and verbal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Men are more likely to interrupt </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Women ask more questions, while men emphasize achievements more. </li></ul></ul>Feminism in the Stacks  Michigan Academy 2010
  16. 16. Workplace Communication <ul><li>Some examples from survey respondents of the impact of gender on communication: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>My “identity as a feminist makes me more liable to label something as sexist, inappropriate or systematic.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some men interrupt and dismiss contributions from women </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Women in our library tend to discuss, examine and thrash out problems and ideas. It is very hard to engage our male colleagues to do the same.” </li></ul></ul>Feminism in the Stacks  Michigan Academy 2010
  17. 17. Workplace Communication <ul><li>Many respondents said age has a greater impact than gender on communication in the workplace. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Most notably Generation X and Millennial respondents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some younger and newer librarians feel less valued and heard by older colleagues. </li></ul></ul>Feminism in the Stacks  Michigan Academy 2010
  18. 18. Workplace Communication <ul><li>Impact of technology noted by literature, some survey respondents </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some younger librarians addressed difficulty introducing new technologies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some older librarians disputed the notion of a technology gap </li></ul></ul>Feminism in the Stacks  Michigan Academy 2010
  19. 19. Conclusions <ul><li>Quantitative data support existing research showing the increase of women in library management positions </li></ul><ul><li>Qualitative data illustrate that gender bias and discrimination remain problematic in libraries </li></ul>Feminism in the Stacks  Michigan Academy 2010
  20. 20. For Future Study <ul><li>Investigate the impact of sexuality and race on hiring, promotion and management in libraries. </li></ul><ul><li>Explore connections between feminist identity and involvement in library public service, as survey respondents noted that feminism shapes their approach to treating all patrons equally. </li></ul><ul><li>Investigate how attitudes about feminism change over time. </li></ul>Feminism in the Stacks  Michigan Academy 2010
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