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ID 31442
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title alternative
Empowering the Present and Next Generations of Women Researchers : women's committees of U.S. academic societies in the early 1970s
creator
Sakamoto, Tatsuro
NDC
Education
abstract
In the early 1970's, many academic societies in the United States launched committees to examine the role and status of women. The American Historical Association, for example, created the Coordinating Committee on Women in the Historical Profession (CCWHP) in 1970, whose objective was to investigate and support issues and agendas related to women in the profession in general and in the field of women's history. Similar committees were established by the American Psychological Association in 1973, and the American Educational Research Association in 1973. This paper tries to answer a number of related research questions: 1) who were the key persons in launching the women's committees; what was the direct cause for establishing the women's committees; 2) what were the main agendas and issues that the committees thought critical to promote gender equity in research activities?

The paper first delineates the mega-trend of the 1970's in terms of feminism and women's higher education. It reveals that the 1970's were the most fertile decade for the birth of women's committees. 1) Compared to the enrollment of men (109% increase), enrollment of women in higher education increased almost 181%; in particular, earned doctorates for women increased by more than a factor of 2, from 4,022 to 9,672, while earned doctorates for men decreased from 25,890 to 22,943. 2) The Campaign for Equal Rights Amendment made a tremendous impact not only on the general public but also on professional organizations including academic societies.

The paper next investigates the decline and rebirth of the American Association of University Professor's Committee W (Committee W on the Status of Women established in 1918) as a case history. This case history reveals that: 1) the feminism and women's liberation movement strongly affected the decline and rebirth of Committee W on the Status of Women; 2) the guiding ideal of empowerment for women was gender-free thinking based on liberal feminism.

The paper next focuses on the development and early activism of the American Educational Research Association's ad hoc Committee of the Role and Status of Women in Educational Research and Development. The Committee was created by academic feminists and women activists who had participated in the symposium "Women as Equals: Interdisciplinary Perspective for Educational Research", sponsored by the AERA annual conference in the previous year. From its beginning, the Committee published studies that investigated and documented the status of women in AERA. Although severely restricted in terms of its sample size (7% of all AERA members), the Committee made a first-time survey of the AERA membership in terms of gender and revealed acute gender discrimination in AERA organization and its various activities. It published a report of an examination of the participation of women in the educational research community such as participation in annual meetings and journal contributions, and a survey of the role and status of women in other professional organizations. These activities provided the basis for committee sponsored motions to the AERA Council to improve the role and status of women in the organization, in research studies, and in the profession, all of which became the basis for further activities of the Committee in the 1980's.
journal title
Daigaku ronshu: Research in higher education
issue
Issue 42
start page
195
end page
212
date of issued
2011-03
publisher
広島大学高等教育研究開発センター
issn
0302-0142
ncid
SelfDOI
language
jpn
nii type
Departmental Bulletin Paper
HU type
Departmental Bulletin Papers
DCMI type
text
format
application/pdf
text version
publisher
rights
Copyright (c) 2011 Author(s)
department
Research Institute for Higher Education
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