In this cross-cultural exploration of the comparative experiences of Asian and Western women in higher education management, leading feminist theorist Carmen Luke constructs a provocative framework that situates her own standpoint and experiences alongside those of Asian women she studied over a three-year period. She conveys some of the complexity of global sweeps and trends in education and feminist discourse as they intersect with local cultural variations but also dovetail into patterns of regional similarities.
Western feminist research has established that relatively few women hold senior positions in universities and colleges. Using the now common metaphor of the "glass ceiling," this research has developed a range of social, cultural, and institutional explanations for women's underrepresentation in academic life. International studies show that women in non-Western countries are also underrepresented in higher education. Yet do Western explanations and strategies for change hold for academic women working in non-Western universities? The very diversity among women's experiences calls into question many of the analytic tools, terms, claims, and solutions formulated by Western feminism. This is the first study to show how cultural differences figure into the institutional dynamics of "glass ceilings." It raises important theoretical and practical, strategic, and tactical questions about issues of cultural difference and institutional power.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface. Introduction. Part I: Women, Education, and Equity: North/West. Women in Academics: Views From the North/West. Globalization. New Managerialism and Women in Higher Education. Western Feminism, Globalization, and Local Standpoints. Part II: Women, Education, and Equity: South/East. Women in Academics: Views From the South/East. Thailand. Singapore. Hong Kong. Malaysia.
"This is a very timely and highly readable book investigating the intersection of globalism and feminism with the global-local dynamics of Southeast Asian women in academics."
—Australian Journal of Political Science
"Compelling....The study is of great value....The finding that 'glass ceiling politics can only be made intelligible with reference to local sites, to specific socio-political and cultural contexts and histories' is an important contribution...."
San Jos‚ State University
"The work of an experienced authority in the field of gender and higher education....Shows the depth and breadth of her knowledge and vision."