Synopses & Reviews
As leaders, do we become unwitting perpetrators of favoritism, gender bias, and sex-role stereotyping? Can we learn to detect this bias and implement interventions? In an easy-to-read and practical style--with checklists and case studies--Van Nostrand shows us how gender affects group process, how leaders buy into these power dynamics, and what can be done about it. Gender-Responsible Leadership offers solutions to existing problems for leaders of both genders and all types of groups. As such, this handy manual will be used time and again by practitioners and students in gender studies, management studies, group studies, sociology, psychology, social psychology, human relations, education, and interpersonal communication. This book has been very helpful in making me confront my own assumptions and biases. What I particularly liked about her book were the accounts of personal experience that helped me to reflect on my own practice, but as importantly her suggestions for ways of dealing with situations, her emphasis on action. --Journal of Gender Studies A strength of the book was that it was based on real life experiences, including her own of working in groups.... I would say that it is the kind of book that anyone involved in business or education should read because it is packed with ideas, suggestions and strategies for intervention. --Journal of Gender Studies Many of the examples in this volume] are compelling and the exercises are instructive. The book is useful reading for anyone who leads groups, for example, any therapist or professor. Reading the book is a real eye-opener because even the most enlightened are likely to recognize themselves in some of the examples.Students and others who participate in groups would also find the book insightful. It is easy to read and a relatively quick read. Van Nostrand writes well, has some lovely expressions that capture her ideas, and she prepared a better-than-average index of terms and concepts. --from a prepublication review for Contemporary Psychology This sourcebook and manual, written by an experienced educator, workshop facilitator, and consultant, addresses the interplay of gender, power, collusion, and leadership. Van Nostrand skillfully integrates a wide range of theoretical perspectives, personal experience, and formal research in education, sociolinguistics, organizational development, law, radical feminist therapy, and speech communication. . . . This book is written as though the reader had a trusted mentor available. There are attractive diagrams, brief case studies, and tables that emphasize key points in the text. . . . This book is an important expansion of the growing body of knowledge in feminist pedagogy and gender-sensitive communication. Although the book has widespread practical application, it is also strong on theory and provides a wealth of reference material. It would be useful in social work practice settings as well as in courses on group dynamics and organizational behavior. The teacher who is struggling to create gender balance in teaching will find the approach of this book invaluable. --AFFILIA The author documents ways to detect bias in language and action, and describes the role that gender-responsible leaders can play in confronting sexist behavior. Practical real-life examples in classrooms and workshops, committee meetings and social gatherings show how women arecategorized, trivialized, criticized, and sometimes ostracized. . . . A checklist/discussion guide at the end of the book provides a helpful self-audit for group leaders to pinpoint sexism and bias . . and it offers workable ways to create change both on the professional and personal levels. --AAUW Outlook Van Nostrand incorporates] the qualities of good gender scholarship. . . . Catharine Van Nostrand is not merely surviving this complex area, she is helping to evolve it. --Peter Schwenger, Author of Phallic Critiques Van Nostrand's book interweaves theory and research with numerous real-life experiences and practical interventions. It goes beyond documenting the problem--it gives many concrete ideas and examples of what to do the next time you lead a group. Van Nostrand provides an example of responsible leadership. --Karen Schmid, Assistant Dean, College of Social Sciences, St. Cloud State University Van Nostrand's] book is important; she] has an enthusiastic style that makes what she] writes easy-to-read, and enjoyable as well. As an occasional group leader myself, I am] most interested in a book that would help me exert gender-responsible leadership. The author's] plan of giving lots of concrete examples and using them as a springboard for practical leadership tips can be extremely effective. --Gail Hanson, University of Minnesota and Consultant, Minneapolis The main benefit of this book is its practical usefulness. I certainly think this manual would appeal to group leaders of all kinds, including teachers. --Roberta M. Hall, Coauthor of The Classroom Climate, and Consultant, Minneapolis Gender-Responsible Leadership is a pioneering work. Based on astuteobservations of leaders' behaviors, and a creative application of feminist theory, Van Nostrand has drafted a very practical and readable manual for leaders and facilitators who want to produce learning environments in which women participants can benefit equally with men. --Patricia A. Samuel, St. Cloud State University, Minnesota The real-life examples are brilliantly chosen to build the case for the inequities that women experience in groups. The suggested] interventions offer realistic, workable ways to create change. I especially liked the section on the creative uses of silence. . . . A bombshell of a feminist book --Helen D. Gilbert, Private Practice, St. Paul, Minnesota (use the above quote per vannostrand.) Van Nostrand's book goes beyond the obvious gender bias to uncover our prejudice at its most subtle levels. --Rich Chandler, Training Seminar
By combining sound feminist theory and group dynamic principles with information on how to be a leader in a nonhierarchical, consensus-oriented framework, this book offers a unique approach to leadership. It deals with such issues as: the way leaders collude in maintaining gender biases; how patriarchy, power and process can be viewed in relation to feminist theory and group dynamics; the frustrations that facilitators face as they deal with these; and how these frustrations can be dealt with through principles of effective leadership.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 259-267) and index.