Gender and Leadership: Life Histories of Female and Male Primary School Principals in Hong Kong

    Project: Research project

    Project Details


    This project proposes to collect the life histories of 16 primary school head teachers. It will analyze the impact of gender on their career trajectories, leadership experiences, and home-work balance by examining the similarities and differences between women and men and within each group. This research is timely in two respects. First, in recent years, there has been a slow but steady growth of female principals in Hong Kong and elsewhere, a phenomenon that has attracted the attention of scholars. Although some of this growth can be attributed to equal opportunity legislation (which, however, is not a strong factor in Hong Kong), some researchers suggest that the recent educational restructuring has encouraged a new type of leadership and has facilitated women’s entry into leadership positions. The proposed project, exploratory in nature, will gauge the possible reconfigurations of gender in a feminized profession in the context of the educational changes in Hong Kong – a Chinese society characterized by a specific patriarchal culture. Second, the work-family intersection is an important issue throughout the world. In Hong Kong, a society with one of the lowest birth rates in the world, (i.e., 0.9 in 2006), the stories of how real female and male leaders balance, negotiate, and struggle with the demands of work and home in an increasingly stressful sector will be of great interest to aspiring principals, leaders in other fields, academics, and policy makers.

    Funding Source: RGC - General Research Fund (GRF)
    Effective start/end date01/01/1031/12/11


    • gender
    • leadership
    • primary teaching
    • life histories
    • masculinities


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