En riktig rektor Om ledarskap, genus och skolkulturer
Sammanfattning: The overall aim of the study is to show, from an ethnographic point of view, the what, why and how of events in the daily life of the principals studied. The ambition is to try to understand the meaning of being a principal and the complex situation in which they op-erate. Some questions raised are: What do the principals’ working days look like? What constitutes the foundations of school leadership? What characterizes the context (the cul-tures) in which they work? Has gender any significance for school leadership?Earlier knowledge about leadership is mainly based on studies of male leaders, and or-ganizations are often considered as gender neutral. These circumstances make it urgent to study leadership from a gender perspective. Using an explorative, ethnographic approach with participant observations and recorded interviews seven principals were studied. Most of the data was collected during one and a half years of fieldwork, where the work of one female principal was observed.The result shows that leadership is a complex phenomenon. Relationships are seen as an essential aspect, and most of the daily work is accomplished through meetings and conver-sations with other people. The study illuminates how “a real principal” is constructed through relationships between many different individuals and groups. In this variety of sub-cultures different values and norms of behaviour are found. Schools can thus be regarded as multicultural organizations. Daily the principal has to try to understand, be aware of, and handle this cultural diversity. Partly as a consequence of this, emotions are constantly pre-sent in principals’ daily work. Principals have to deal with their own feelings as well as those of others. Contours of a gender contract are outlined, where cultural understandings of women and men become evident, and which the principals have to relate to.
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