Feminism in the Stacks
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Feminism in the Stacks Presentation Transcript

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