Performance in student affairs : insights into gender and sexuality
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] This embedded, descriptive case study (Creswell, 2007; Scholz & Tietje, 2002; Stake, 2006; Yin, 2009) addresses two main purposes: (a) to further introduce Butler's (1990, 1993, 2004b) concept of gender performance as an example of postmodernism; and (b) to build upon the limited literature on student affairs professionals. These are significant issues given that previous research on gender in higher education focuses on modernistic perspectives such as gender roles or the influence of gender on students and faculty, effectively excluding postmodernism and other members of the academic community, particularly student affairs professionals who work closely with students (and faculty) on topics related to gender and sexuality. Furthermore, other scholars have stressed the importance of addressing workplace issues (Baxter Magolda, 2002; Lechuga, Clerc, & Howell, 2009; Ropers-Huilman, 2003) which in this study, include the participants' experiences as student affairs professionals. Three themes emerged from the participants' experiences with gender and sexuality, including: (de)constructing gender and sexuality, (un)intelligible performances, and (re)signifying regulation. These three themes intertwine to represent how the ways in which we have constructed our understandings of gender and sexuality influence whether or not we perform these identities in recognizable (or intelligible) ways and thus the extent to which we are regulated by, and through, our performances of gender (and sexuality). Several implications in the areas of future research, policy, and practice are discussed including the need for more formalized education for student affairs professionals on issues of gender and sexuality as well as the evaluation of institutional policies and climates in order to improve the environment in higher education for all students, faculty, and staff.
Access is limited to the campus of the University of Missouri--Columbia.