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The ‘Woman Question’ and Higher Education

Perspectives on Gender and Knowledge Production in America Edited by Ann Mari May, Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, US
This uniquely interdisciplinary study offers a provocative, contemporary look at the ‘Woman Question’ in relation to higher education at the dawn of the twenty-first century. Leading feminist scholars from a wide variety of perspectives and disciplines — including history, philosophy, education, psychology, sociology, and economics — evaluate the role of biology, discrimination, and choice in rationalizing women’s exclusion from fully participating in the process of knowledge production, as well as examining institutional impediments. Contextualizing arguments against women’s inclusion and including contemporary perspectives on gender, this book offers a rich, multi-layered examination and critical insights into understanding the near universal difficulties that women encounter as they seek to participate fully in the process of knowledge production.
Extent: 200 pp
Hardback Price: $127.00 Web: $114.30
Publication Date: 2008
ISBN: 978 1 84720 401 1
Availability: In Stock
Paperback Price: $56.00 Web: $44.80
Publication Date: 2009
ISBN: 978 1 84844 459 1
Availability: In Stock
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Economics of Education
  • Education
  • Economics of Education
These essays offer fresh insights on the question of the paucity of women in higher education and together form a thoughtful and contemporary response to Lawrence Summers and the ‘Woman Question’ in the twenty-first century.

This uniquely interdisciplinary study offers a provocative, contemporary look at the ‘Woman Question’ in relation to higher education at the dawn of the twenty-first century. Leading feminist scholars from a wide variety of perspectives and disciplines — including history, philosophy, education, psychology, sociology, and economics — evaluate the role of biology, discrimination, and choice in rationalizing women’s exclusion from fully participating in the process of knowledge production, as well as examining institutional impediments. Contextualizing arguments against women’s inclusion and including contemporary perspectives on gender, this book offers a rich, multi-layered examination and critical insights into understanding the near universal difficulties that women encounter as they seek to participate fully in the process of knowledge production.

This book addresses one of the most compelling topics of our time and speaks to our need to understand the long struggle of women to gain an authoritative voice in higher education and the factors that underlie that struggle. Scholars and researchers of women’s studies, higher education, and a range of humanities and social sciences will find this book a welcome addition to the literature.
‘The interdisciplinary mix of sharp commentary and scholarship has the potential to invigorate and reawaken debate on why women aren’t advancing faster in academia and the role of theoretical, social, and institutional bias in perpetuating this inequity. . . Undergraduate and graduate students of educational and workplace inequality, women’s studies, and neoclassical theory will benefit from engaging in the dialogues raised in this book.’
– Lois Joy, Feminist Economics

‘. . . this book offers a contribution to debates and is a timely reminder that the “woman question” remains a compelling issue. The critical insights offered by scholars from across the disciplines of history, philosophy, psychology, sociology and economics is a unique aspect of this text. This is a thoughtful and scholarly contribution to the knowledge base.’
– Tanya Fitzgerald, Journal of Educational Administration and History

‘Detractors will find all the supporting data that they might fear to see, as the authors have done their homework/housework and it is spotless. The opening statement of the acknowledgements can stand for the remainder of us – that in encouraging our academic interests, as a stimulus to creative energy, in making us laugh and in reminding us to hold on to that which we value most for women (and men) in higher education, there cannot be much improvement on this book.’
– Julia Swindells, Times Higher Education

‘. . . a particularly readable and interesting set of complementary essays.’
– Education Economics

‘These outstanding essays by eminent scholars provide sophisticated and highly readable analyses of the causes of women’s exclusion from full participation in knowledge production today. From multiple disciplinary perspectives, the authors examine the roles of biology, institutional impediments, discrimination, and women’s choices. A “must read” for all concerned with the role of women in contemporary higher education.’
– Myra H. Strober, Stanford University, US

‘These fascinating essays by scholars from a wide range of disciplines examine women’s struggle since the nineteenth century for inclusion and voice in American higher education and the long, often grimly comic history of the arguments that “men with authority to speak” have used (and continue to use) to rationalize limiting women’s role. Everyone interested in the history of women in American universities should read this book.’
– Robert W. Dimand, Brock University, Canada
Foreword by Alice Kessler-Harris
Contributors: M.A. Dzuback, C. Fehr, E. Higginbotham, J.A. Jacobs, H. Lefkowitz Horowitz, A. Kessler-Harris, J.R. Martin, A.M. May, V. Valian
Contents:

Foreword
Alice Kessler-Harris

Introduction
Ann Mari May

PART I
1. The Body in the Library
Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz

2. Gender, Biology, and the Incontrovertible Logic of Choice
Ann Mari May

3. Gender, Professional Knowledge, and Institutional Power: Women Social Scientists and the Research University
Mary Ann Dzuback

PART II
4. The Missing Women in Higher Education: A Case Study of Culture Crossing
Jane Roland Martin

5. Women in Science – and Elsewhere
Virginia Valian

6. Are Smart Men Smarter than Smart Women? The Epistemology of Ignorance, Women, and the Production of Knowledge
Carla Fehr

PART III
7. Re-framing the Discussion: How White Male Supremacy Continues to Obscure the Reality of Gender in Higher Education
Elizabeth Higginbotham

8. The Faculty Time Divide
Jerry A. Jacobs

References

Index