Abstract

In this feminist, constructivist case study we explored how 28 classified, administrative, and faculty women’s experiences working at one university for 25−40 years have changed. Participants ranged from 45- to 70-years-old at the time of their interview, with more than half older than 60, and 84% identified as White. Women with extended history of service to a single institution provide a unique lens for examining institutional change and gendered structures as they have, in their longevity, thrived or survived. In this article we explore a subset of the findings focused on how women recognize gendered dynamics within the university, and how women respond to inequitable dynamics. Women’s descriptions of the climate include experiences of modern and benevolent forms of sexism in this institution; however, few participants identified these behaviors as sexist. We extend current understandings by documenting modern sexism in higher education and identifying patterns of description and denial of sexism, as well as adaptation and resistance to gendered dynamics. We demonstrate that climate cannot be measured solely by reports of sexual harassment, and explain why sexism is likely to be underreported.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4640
Print ISSN
0022-1546
Pages
pp. 595-627
Launched on MUSE
2015-06-19
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived
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