1st Edition

Untethering Educational Leadership Cases and Contexts from Chinese Cinema

By Chenwei Ma, Roger C. Shouse Copyright 2024
    132 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Lingdao, the Chinese word for leadership, is rarely used to denote acts of social persuasion that occur outside of contexts of formal rank or status. However, the ubiquity of informal leadership in China raises a number of practical and theoretical questions.

    Based on an analysis of selected Chinese cinematic works depicting settings of educational practice and policy, the book explores how "Western" understandings of leadership emerge from these texts to form discursive media for social change. It also offers a new understanding of lingdao and leadership; how they represent a natural human desire, regardless of formal rank or position, to mobilize collective will, change minds, and achieve social change.

    The book will be of interest to professional scholars and graduate students of Chinese culture, educational leadership, mass media, and popular culture.

    1: Impossible Mission I: To Distinguish the Meaning of “Leadership”  2: Impossible Mission II: To Depict the Film as Discursive Leadership  3: Impossible Mission III: To Pitch films Displaying Discursive Leadership  4: Impossible Mission IV: To Recognize the Discursive Leadership through Movie Lens  5: Impossible Mission V: To Make the Familiar New, and the New Familiar  6: Ongoing Mission: Generation Z, Always Online!


    Chenwei Ma is an associate professor of the educational economy and management in Public Administration of Sichuan University. Chenwei is engaged in comparative and international research on education policy.

    Roger C. Shouse is a partially retired educator who began work as a high school teacher in 1976. After earning his Ph.D. in 1994 from the University of Chicago, he has served as professor of educational leadership and public administration in the United States and China over the years from 1994 through the present, most recently at Sichuan University.

    ”In this book, Ma and Shouse open new windows into the study of all leadership, but particularly educational leadership.  Applying innovative and modern approaches to old problems, they question basic assumptions and leave the reader with entirely new insights.  Masterfully researched, probing, compelling, this book combines the very best of what these accomplished “scholar practitioners” have to offer – a complex and unique understanding of different cultural approaches to leadership combined with a rich knowledge of extant research and a love of cinema.  Highly sophisticated, yet easy to read and intensely engaging, this book is indispensable for all those who care about  leadership.  Its messages are not easily forgotten.“

    Jacqueline A. Stefkovich, Ed.D., J.D. Professor Emerita, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, The Pennsylvania State University, U.S.A.