Changing the master of mastering the change?: women secondary principals and occupational closure : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Sociology at Massey University
This thesis examines causes of, and reaction to, the under-representation of women as Principals in the secondary teaching service in New Zealand in the 1990's. The model of occupational closure developed by Witz (1992) is used as a theoretical base to describe the sexual division of labour and the vertical and horizontal segregation of women in the paid labour force. The concepts of exclusion, inclusion and change are used to analyse work history data derived from interviews with the research participants. It is argued that marked changes in societal and individual attitudes and in workplace practices are contributing to alterations in gender relations. Of particular importance, in contemporary inclusionary processes, is women's awareness of, and the value they attach to, the positive contribution that women can, and do, make to workplace relations. The thesis concludes that, despite the gains that some professional women appear to have made, access to positions of real power and equality in the workplace has not yet been achieved.