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Women's conceptions of power Wilson, Carol Lynne 1991

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WOMEN'S CONCEPTIONS OP POWER by CAROL LYNNE WILSON B.A., University of Western Ontario, 1966 Ed.Dip., University of Alberta, 1972 . THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Counselling Psychology We accept t h i s Thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF A p r i l , ® Carol Lynne BRITISH COLUMBIA 1991 Wilson, 1991 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of r n n n s R l l i n g P s ychology The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date April 29, 1991  DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT This t h e s i s describes women's conceptions of power i n the context of an all-woman work group. Research on the psychology of power, which began i n the 1950's, has been dominated by p a r t i c u l a r f o c i i , perspectives and techniques which may have resulted i n somewhat narrow d e f i n i t i o n s of power which tap only factors t r a d i t i o n a l l y seen as "masculine." In reframing these f o c i i , perspectives and techniques, t h i s research focuses on women's understandings; was conducted from a n a t u r a l i s t i c perspective, using q u a l i t a t i v e techniques; and approached the inve s t i g a t i o n of power from a po s i t i o n of "not knowing" rather than r e l y i n g on a p r i o r i theory. The n a t u r a l i s t i c perspective used i n t h i s study i s phenomenography, a r e l a t i v e l y new research approach developed i n Sweden by a group of educational researchers at the University of Goteborg. Phenomenography describes i n d i v i d u a l s ' conceptions i n the form of categories of description which represent people's ways of understanding or conceptualizing phenomena—in t h i s case, power. The findings of t h i s study—the conceptions of power— came out of in-depth open-ended interviews with eight women who comprised the membership of the 1988-89 "gender-fair" counsellors' t r a i n i n g team at UBC. These interviews were conducted i n the hermeneutic t r a d i t i o n of mutually-constructed meaning, audio taped, transcribed, and analyzed to y i e l d s i x q u a l i t a t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t conceptions of power which appear consistent with feminist theory on women's developmental i i i p e r s p e c t i v e s and v iews o f power. The c o n c e p t i o n s , i n the form of c a t e g o r i e s o f meaning, a re o r g a n i z e d i n t o an outcome space i n which under s t and ing s o f power move f rom: (a) an i n n e r f ocus on s e l f t o an o u t e r f ocus on the o t h e r ; (b) a v iew o f the p roce s s as " b e i n g " , t o a c t i n g , t o i n t e r a c t i n g ; and (c) a p r i v a t e con tex t t o a p u b l i c c o n t e x t . The s i x c o n c e p t i o n s o f power a r e : 1. p e r s o n a l i n t e g r i t y l a . e n t i t l e m e n t 2 . e x p r e s s i n g p e r s o n a l i n t e g r i t y / c o n g r u e n c e 3. s e l f - d e t e r m i n a t i o n 4. agency/competence 5. r e s p e c t e d s t a n d i n g 6. i n f l u e n c e The i m p l i c a t i o n s o f t he se f i n d i n g s f o r c o u n s e l l i n g and sugge s t i on s f o r f u r t h e r r e s e a r c h a re d i s c u s s e d . i v TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract i i Table of Contents i v L i s t of Tables v i i L i s t of Appendices v i i i Acknowledgements ix I. INTRODUCTION 1 I I . FRAMING THE RESEARCH PROBLEM 5 A. The Research Focus 5 B. The Research Perspective 9 C. The Research Technique 14 D. The Research Question 25 I I I . METHODOLOGY 27 A. Phenomenography 27 B. Data C o l l e c t i o n 3 6 1. Context: Participants and Setting 3 6 Participants 3 6 Setting 45 Members* conceptions of group cohesiveness . . . 49 Member's conceptions of the e f f e c t s of intra-group differences 50 Members' conceptions of the Group as a safe environment 53 2. Data C o l l e c t i o n Technique 54 The hermeneutic encounter 55 The conversations 57 V C. Data Analysis 67 IV. RESULTS 73 A. Women's Conceptions of Power 73 The Outcome space: Categories of Meaning 75 Conception 1: Power i s personal i n t e g r i t y . . . 75 Conception l a : Power i s a sense of entitlement . 79 Conception 2: Power i s expressing personal integrity/congruence 82 Conception 3: Power i s self-determination . . . 84 Conception 4: Powers i s agency/competence . . . 86 Conception 5: Power i s respected standing . . . 88 Conception 6: Power i s influencing others . . . 90 B. Discussion: The Outcome Space 91 Links Between Conceptions 92 Power Systems 92 V. IMPLICATIONS OF FINDINGS 97 A. Research/Theory: The Psychology of Power 97 The Nature of Power 97 Women's Attitudes Toward Power 109 B. Discussion 114 Women's Understandings of the Nature of Power . . 114 The Six Conceptions of Views of Power 117 Conception 1: Power i s personal i n t e g r i t y . . 117 Conception 2: Power i s expressing personal i n t e g r i t y 118 Conception 3: Power i s self-determination . . 119 Conception 4: Power i s agency/competence . . . 120 v i Conception 5: Power i s respected standing . . 121 Conception 6: Power i s influencing others . . 122 Women's Orientation and Attitudes to Power . . . . 123 C. Implications for Future Research 126 D. Implications f o r Counselling 127 REFERENCES 137 APPENDICES 145 v i i LIST OF TABLES Table 1: Outcome space for Conceptions of Power 93 Table 2: "Source" of Power as Links Between Conceptions . . . 94 v i i i LIST OF APPENDICES Appendix A: Respondent Consent Form 145 Appendix B: Questionnaire 146 Appendix C: Post-Interview Questionnaire 147 Appendix D: Transcript Typescript Notation 148 Appendix E: Synonyms and Antonyms for Power 149 Appendix F: Results of Independent Judge R e l i a b i l i t y Test . 150 ix ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would l i k e , f i r s t , to thank the women who par t i c i p a t e d i n t h i s study—whose open and honest sharing of experiences and thoughts are the bedrock of t h i s research. Secondly, I wish to acknowledge my committee members, with r e a l appreciation, for t h e i r r o l e i n my work. Special thanks to my supervisor, Larry Cochran, for your support and encouragement to work out of my inner passion and personal i n t e r e s t s and to fi n d a methodology that f i t with my convictions. And to Dan Pratt, f o r your sharing of knowledge and i n t e r e s t — b u t , beyond that, for your innate understanding and acting out of power i n a context of care and connectedness. Sometimes, I f e l t that I would never reach t h i s stage of completing my research and look back to acknowledge and thank those who, i n some important way, became a part of t h i s endeavour. At those moments, f e e l i n g exhausted and discouraged, and s t i l l seeing a long u p h i l l climb ahead, the thought of the caring, love and support which I received from important people i n my l i f e was an energizer which kept me moving towards completion of t h i s task. Special thanks to G i l l i a n Stronach for your patient inter-judge work which was important i n establishing the r e l i a b i l i t y of t h i s research, and for your caring support and friendship. And to Elizabeth Carriere, my friend, for your work as an independent judge, and for the hours of peer debriefing work and the i n s p i r a t i o n of your insights, your c u r i o s i t y , your enthusiasm and int e r e s t i n my work throughout. Love and X gratitude to Dana, my l i f e - p a r t n e r , for your consistent, loving encouragement and support throughout t h i s ordeal. I f academic degrees could be shared, surely part of t h i s one would be yours. And to my children: Kevin, Campbell and Kira for whom I've always wished to be the "best that I can be," and whose love moves me i n that d i r e c t i o n . To Joyce Frazee, who recognizes the connection between theses and feces and whose loving power mothers and empowers me. Thanks to my s i s t e r , Laurie, my nephews, Dharma and John, and my very special friends who have also contributed i n ways too numerous to mention—emotionally, s p i r i t u a l l y , and p r a c t i c a l l y — t o the empowering context within which I have worked: E l l e n , Gerrie, Marilyn, Ginny> G a i l , Dixie and V a l . 1 I. INTRODUCTION The focus of t h i s study i s on answering the question of how women understand and experience power. This chapter introduces the research question and the p a r t i c u l a r approaches u t i l i z e d i n t h i s study. The s p e c i f i c question which i s addressed i s : What are the conceptions of power held by women p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n an all-woman work group? This question emerges out of a consideration of a growing body of l i t e r a t u r e which suggests that women approach power from a unique developmental perspective which includes an emphasis on valuing interpersonal connectedness i n a context of empathy and caring (Baker M i l l e r , 1986: G i l l i g a n , 1982; Lips, 1991). Feminist t h e o r i s t s are suggesting, i n a small but growing body of l i t e r a t u r e , that i n dichotomizing our d e f i n i t i o n s of s o c i a l phenomena to include only t r a d i t i o n a l l y "masculine" perspectives, we do a l l of us—women and men, a l i k e — a grave disfavour. In rethinking our s o c i a l d e f i n i t i o n s , at a time when women are moving more and more into claiming economic and p o l i t i c a l power, and mankind i s moving closer and closer to destroying the planet, and perhaps the universe, i t seems important to begin to balance our understandings, which have t r a d i t i o n a l l y come out of the examination of men's experience and development, with a delineation of women's experience and understanding. With t h i s balance we hopefully move toward more complete and human p o s s i b i l i t i e s , for women and for men. 2 A review of the psychology of power l i t e r a t u r e reveals that, u n t i l recently, research approaches were dominated by t r a d i t i o n a l f o c i i , perspectives and techniques. In reframing these approaches, t h i s study reconsiders the psychological meaning of power. Since the 1950's, when empirical studies on power were i n i t i a t e d , the focus has been on power as influence and control over others (McClelland, 1975; Winter, 1973). This concentration on power as control over others proceeds from a p r i o r i theory, and i n approaching power from, as much as possible, a po s i t i o n of "not knowing" and allowing conceptions of power to emerge from the data, t h i s research moves from a focus on t r a d i t i o n a l d e f i n i t i o n s of power to an openness to other, l a r g e l y ignored aspects of t h i s phenomenon. The second dominant research focus which t h i s study reframes i s an emphasis on the choice of men as research subjects or respondents. In switching the balance of attention from men's perspectives, to include women's, t h i s research, rather than assuming a homogenous "women's" experience, explores the v a r i a t i o n of understanding and experience expressed by the respondents. The t h i r d reframed focus here i s t r a d i t i o n a l psychology's i n t e r e s t i n behavioural c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the i n d i v i d u a l . Instead, the focus, i n t h i s study, becomes the in d i v i d u a l ' s perspective on, or experience of, the world. The rat i o n a l e f o r t h i s l i e s i n the fact that we act i n accordance with our b e l i e f s and conceptions about the world. Thus, i n better understanding women's conceptions of power, we move into a stronger p o s i t i o n from which to understand the ways which women , 3 approach and deal with power i n t h e i r l i v e s . In refraining the research perspective, t h i s study moves away from a t r a d i t i o n a l r a t i o n a l i s t i c perspective to a n a t u r a l i s t i c perspective which emphasizes the s o c i a l construction of r e a l i t y by the i n d i v i d u a l . In recognizing the importance of the in d i v i d u a l , and the importance of the context within which in d i v i d u a l s l i v e t h e i r r e a l i t i e s , the n a t u r a l i s t i c perspective seems a better " f i t " to a f i e l d l i k e counselling psychology than does the r a t i o n a l i s t i c perspective, which grew out of a consideration of the physical and b i o l o g i c a l sciences. F i n a l l y , a q u a l i t a t i v e research technique was adopted here, rather than a quantitative technique. T r a d i t i o n a l quantitative studies of power have focused on individuals* need for power which was experimentally aroused i n controlled laboratory settings. As Ng (1980), pointed out, t h i s " a r t i f i c i a l " approach to the complex phenomenon of power must, necessarily, f a i l to arouse the f u l l range of experience which indivi d u a l s may associate with power. In moving to q u a l i t a t i v e techniques, t h i s study pays close attention to context, u t i l i z e s the researcher as data c o l l e c t o r rather than r e l y i n g on "objective" instrumentation, and describes research r e s u l t s d e s c r i p t i v e l y , rather than s t a t i s t i c a l l y . These techniques are consistent with the n a t u r a l i s t i c perspective which t h i s study adopts and make the best " f i t " to i t s i n t e r e s t i n women's conceptions. Chapter II frames the research question by expanding t h i s discussion of research focus, perspective and technique. The emphasis here rests on the assumption that choices concerning 4 focus, perspective and technique a f f e c t every aspect of the research, including the questions i t i s possible to ask. Chapter III discusses the underlying concepts and methodology which informed the construction and implementation of the study. I t describes, i n d e t a i l , the empirical research approach of phenomenography which was developed to reveal the q u a l i t a t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t ways i n which people experience and conceptualize various phenomena (Beaty, Dall'Alba & Marton, i n press). I t discusses data c o l l e c t i o n i n the frame of the "hermeneutic encounter," situated within a commitment to "humane values" (Mishler, 1985) and, i n p a r t i c u l a r , to my personal value of working with women i n a way that validates t h e i r personal experience. F i n a l l y , t h i s chapter discusses the analysis of the research data. Chapter IV presents the research findings as s i x q u a l i t a t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t conceptions of power. I t discusses these findings as outcome space—an ordering of the conceptions which emphasizes t h e i r interconnectedness. Chapter V discusses the implications of the research findings. I t begins with a b r i e f review of the relevant l i t e r a t u r e on the psychology of power and the psychology of women and power. The research re s u l t s are related to the l i t e r a t u r e and implications are drawn for counselling and for further investigations. 5 II . FRAMING THE RESEARCH PROBLEM The purpose of t h i s chapter i s to consider the p a r t i c u l a r research focus, perspective and technique of t h i s study and to contrast the approach taken here with the t r a d i t i o n a l or dominant approach. The importance of giving s p e c i a l consideration to the focus, perspective and techniques of research l i e s i n the impact that choices around these issues have, not only on the research design and implementation, but also on the type of questions asked and, of course, on the answers to these questions—and even on the way these are ultimately interpreted and used (Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Wallston & Grady, 1985). A. The Research Focus A review of the power l i t e r a t u r e i n psychology reveals c e r t a i n f o c i i which have dominated research into power. These f o c i i not only centre the power research and theorizing i n p a r t i c u l a r d i r e c t i o n s but, i n so doing, reveal c e r t a i n biases, including androcentric assumptions around power issues. This section of my study examines each of these f o c i i and discusses, i n each case, the present study's reframed focus. One way of examining f o c i i i n t r a d i t i o n a l research i s to consider the aspect(s) of power focused on. Since psychologists began doing empirical studies on power, i n the 1950's, the most popular research topics have focused on power as influence and control over others. Research on t h i s aspect of power 6 represents, by far, the greatest portion of the psychological l i t e r a t u r e i n t h i s area. Much of t h i s research has been done on power motivation or n Power (need for power)—with power, i n these studies, defined as "the capacity of producing (consciously or unconsciously) intended e f f e c t s on people's behaviour or emotion" (Winter, 1973, p. 5); or, "having impact" (McClelland, 1975, p. 7). Thus i n measuring the degree of an i n d i v i d u a l ' s need for power i n these investigations, power motivation was scored i f someone was concerned about or took some kind of action about "establishing, maintaining, or restoring...power-that i s , hi s impact, control or influence over another person, group of persons or the world at large" (Winter, 1973, p. 250). One e f f e c t of t h i s dominant research focus on "power over" i s that other, perhaps equally important, aspects of power have been la r g e l y ignored. McClelland (1975) speaks to t h i s when he notes that t h i s research cannot be presumed to represent a l l the key dimensions of the power experience. Feminist c r i t i q u e s of t h i s dominant focus i n psychological power research point out that a p r i o r i theory from which t h i s research proceeds i s focused on dimensions which are p a r t i c u l a r l y i n t e r e s t i n g to men and which, for the most part, ignore women's inte r e s t s or needs. Thus i t i s possible that the d e f i n i t i o n s of power used i n most psychological investigations are too narrow and tap only factors t r a d i t i o n a l l y considered of male orientation. Some th e o r i s t s have suggested that men and women not only conceive of power d i f f e r e n t l y , but also express t h e i r need for power d i f f e r e n t l y ( G i l l i g a n , 1982; McClelland, 1975; M i l l e r , 1986;). Gullahorn (1979) alludes to 7 t h i s dominant psychological research focus on power as influence/control, when she states, "But there are other aspects of power...that need further attention i n the psychology of women" (p. 138). In foregoing preconceived conceptions of power, t h i s study moves from a focus on p a r t i c u l a r aspects of power to an openness to those "other aspects." An important aspect of research design i s involved i n the choice of subjects or respondents. Certainly samples for power research have tended to be composed mainly of men; t h i s i s the second dominant research focus which t h i s study reframes. Macauley (1985), i n discussing male centrism i n aggression research, points out that the number of male subjects i n a l l areas of psychological research far outranked the number of female subjects, at lea s t up u n t i l the mid-197 0s. In power research several consequences emerge from t h i s preoccupation with men as research subjects. F i r s t , t h i s concentration on men as the subjects of study and the focus of our attention l i m i t s our understanding of women and power. As Jesse Bernard (1981) points out, our study of society becomes a male study of male society. A second, related consequence of t h i s focus i s that conclusions drawn from data o r i g i n a t i n g from the study of men "have tended to regard male behavior as the 'norm' and female behavior as some kind of deviation from the norm" (McClelland, 1975, p. 81). Thus, McClelland contends that women are seen as the opposite of men and often described i n ways that are negative or demeaning. Another, l e s s frequently considered r e s u l t of t h i s focus on men and power i s that differences and s i m i l i t i e s between men's 8 experience of power and women's experience of power (or power-rela t e d behaviour) have been emphasized, whereas differences and s i m i l a r i t i e s within each group have been deemphasized. Thus, i n heeding the frequent c a l l s i n power l i t e r a t u r e to redress the balance of attention from male perspectives to include women's experience (Baker M i l l e r , 1986; Ei c h l e r , 1988; G i l l i g a n , 1982; Gullahorn, 1979; Lips, 1981; McClelland, 1975), t h i s study does not simply readjust the focus to women but seeks to explore the v a r i a t i o n of experience/conceptualization of power within a group of women, rather than to assume that there i s a homogeneous "women's experience" of t h i s phenomenon. The t h i r d focus which t h i s research seeks to reframe i s t r a d i t i o n a l power psychology's preoccupation with the actor. Investigations of power have focused attention on the indi v i d u a l i n an attempt to, for example, discover behavioural c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which correlate with high/low n Power, or i n an attempt to measure the in t e n s i t y of power motivation. An alt e r n a t i v e focus i s the one t h i s study embraces—namely, a focus on the in d i v i d u a l ' s conception or experience of the world. This i s consistent with phenomenography's second-order research perspective which i s discussed, i n d e t a i l , i n Chapter I I I . In summary, t h i s study: (a) refocuses the t r a d i t i o n a l concentration on power as control or influence by allowing conceptions of power to emerge from the data, rather than taking established d e f i n i t i o n s as the point of departure; (b) refocuses the dominant research's concentration on men, and t h e i r behaviour and experiences, to a consideration of women's experience; and 9 (c) refocuses psychology's t r a d i t i o n a l i n t e r e s t i n the i n d i v i d u a l actors and t h e i r behaviour or personal c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s to an i n t e r e s t i n the actors' ideas about the world, or t h e i r experiences of i t . "The rationale for t h i s can be found i n the idea that actors• conceptions of t h e i r world are a basis for the understanding of them and t h e i r acts" (Larsson, 1983, p. 356). In adopting these a l t e r n a t i v e f o c i i i n i t s examination of the v a r i a t i o n of conceptions of power held by women within a p a r t i c u l a r all-women group, t h i s study seeks to explore differences and s i m i l a r i t i e s within that group. B. The Research Perspective A discussion of research perspective deals with the epistemological foundations of the research approach and describes paradigms for inquiry, not methods. Although there i s some difference i n the way that researchers frame perspective, there appears to be agreement that i t i s possible to i d e n t i f y underlying b e l i e f systems or assumptions which support r e l a t i v e l y d i s t i n c t perspectives. Guba (1981) discusses two categories of research perspective; he c a l l s these n a t u r a l i s t i c inquiry and r a t i o n a l i s t i c inquiry. The t r a d i t i o n a l or dominant perspective, r a t i o n a l i s t i c inquiry, i s s t i l l applied to most s o c i a l science research, including psychological research. I t grew out of the b i o l o g i c a l and physical sciences i n which the observation of phenomena plays an important part. One of the key assumptions underlying t h i s 10 perspective i s that "truth statements" or " f a c t s " can be seen and studied; not only are these independent of each other, but they are also seen as e x i s t i n g independently from the context i n which they occur (Firestone, 1987; Guba, 1981). The object of r a t i o n a l i s t i c research thus becomes the search for enduring, context-free truth statements which can be generalized from the sample tested to a wider population which that sample s t a t i s t i c a l l y represents. This approach focuses on developing nomothetic knowledge (knowledge related to or dealing with the abstract, the universal, or the general) and, i n so doing, concentrates on the s i m i l a r i t i e s between objects of inquiry. These assumptions around the nature of r e a l i t y and the nature of truth statements, combined with the idea of a d i s i n t e r e s t e d or objective science, lend themselves to the notion that the researcher can be independent or detached—neither influenced by nor influencing the object of inquiry. These then are the major concepts around which the r a t i o n a l i s t i c paradigm of research i s organized. This mode of inquiry has dominated psychological research from the nineteenth century, when psychology established i t s p o s i t i o n as a separate d i s c i p l i n e , u n t i l today. Since about the 1960's, however, there has been a questionning of the tenets of the r a t i o n a l i s t i c approach to research (Giorgi, 1975; Guba, 1981; Lincoln & Guba, 1985). The perspective which t h i s study adopts i s the n a t u r a l i s t i c view of research. This i s not because the n a t u r a l i s t i c perspective i s necessarily a more "correct" paradigm of research 11 than the r a t i o n a l i s t i c . Guba (1981) and Marton (1988) both point out that there i s no reason to choose one of these perspectives over the other i n each and every research endeavor; rather, i t makes sense to examine the assumptions underlying each and review these i n the context of the p a r t i c u l a r research inquiry. "Just as i t i s proper to se l e c t that a n a l y t i c s t a t i s t i c whose assumptions are best met by a set of data, so i t i s proper to s e l e c t that paradigm whose assumptions are best met by the phenomenon being investigated" (Guba, 1981, p. 76). In what follows, I w i l l b r i e f l y examine the assumptions underlying the n a t u r a l i s t i c mode and discuss these i n the context of t h e i r " f i t " with t h i s research investigation of women's conceptions of power. As already noted, the r a t i o n a l i s t i c perspective assumes a single r e a l i t y upon which research e f f o r t s can focus. The n a t u r a l i s t i c paradigm, on the other hand, assumes multiple i n t e r r e l a t e d r e a l i t i e s . Closely connected to t h i s , rather than assuming the g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y of context-free truth statements, the n a t u r a l i s t i c perspective embraces the develpment of idiographic (as opposed to nomothetic) knowledge which focuses on "differences...as frequently and with as much in t e r e s t as on s i m i l a r i t i e s " (Guba, 1981, p.77). Guba also notes that although most research develops from what he c a l l s the "nomothetic posture" applications are often inappropriately made i n idiographic settings. He sees an incongruity i n applying r a t i o n a l i s t i c inquiry to f i e l d s l i k e counselling psychology, for example, which, of course, deals with ap p l i c a t i o n i n i n d i v i d u a l cases. Application here would be better done from a n a t u r a l i s t i c 12 perspective which acknowledges the i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c nature of tr u t h and the importance of recognizing the contexts within which in d i v i d u a l s experience t h e i r r e a l i t i e s . The s h i f t which has recently kindled i n t e r e s t i n the n a t u r a l i s t i c perspective seems p a r t i c u l a r l y relevant i n the study of s o c i a l phenomena, such as power. Such phenomena, unlike physical objects i n the world, cannot be "touched" or "pointed to" per se, but e x i s t mainly i n the minds of i n d i v i d u a l s , and thus there could, t h e o r e t i c a l l y , e x i s t as many " r e a l i t i e s " as i n d i v i d u a l s . In acknowledging the idea that people's behaviour i s greatly influenced by the way they experience and interpret t h e i r r e a l i t i e s , and i n moving away from the r a t i o n a l i s t i c idea of one confirmable r e a l i t y , the researcher's aim becomes the discovery of the ways that individuals create and maintain t h e i r w o r l d s / r e a l i t i e s , along with some understanding of these. Further, researchers who might be capable of remaining neutral i n the face of physical or chemical phenomena—although as Guba, (1981) points out, even that i s debatable—cannot do that when the invest i g a t i o n i s centred on people, as i t i s i n t h i s study. The n a t u r a l i s t i c perspective accepts the r e a l i t y that the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the inquirer and the respondent i s not one of independence but, rather, of mutual influence. F i n a l l y , n a t u r a l i s t i c inquiry accepts the proposition that human beheviour i s related to context—another reason for seeing difference as being at l e a s t as important as s i m i l a r i t i e s . Thus, because t h i s study deals with people's conceptions of a s o c i a l phenomenon i t appears obvious that a n a t u r a l i s t i c 13 paradigm which (a) holds that r e a l i t y i s s o c i a l l y constructed by the i n d i v i d u a l and cannot be reduced to enduring "truth statements," (b) acknowledges the interrelatedness of inquirer and respondent, and (c) seeks to understand the phenomenon from the respondent's perspective, makes the best f i t here. In arguing that n a t u r a l i s t i c inquiry best f i t s the research conditions described here, and would not necessarily be the correct perspective i n every research instance, i t i s important to honestly acknowledge that n a t u r a l i s t i c inquiry best f i t s my own values, biases and assumptions. S c i e n t i f i c notions of pred i c t i o n and control are much less relevant, to me, than n a t u r a l i s t i c approaches to understanding and meaning. In choosing to work with people (in t h i s case, women), from a p e r s o n a l / p o l i t i c a l feminist perspective, I am, necessarily, more interested i n "how s o c i a l order i s produced by revealing the network of meanings out of which t h i s order i s constituted and reconstituted by i t s members" (Carr & Kemmis, 1986, p. 85), than with any view of human behaviour as determined by impersonal, objective laws, operating beyond our control. As noted above, r a t i o n a l i s t i c and n a t u r a l i s t i c paradigms are rooted i n d i f f e r e n t conceptions of the world, of r e a l i t y and of the uses and aims of research. Many c r i t i c s of the r a t i o n a l i s t i c perspective have pointed out that although i t s t r i v e s for value-free, objective knowledge, i t i s , i t s e l f , necessarily rooted i n p a r t i c u l a r attitudes, b e l i e f s and values which i t , i n turn, sustains (Carr & Kemmis, 1986; Kuhn, 1970; Millman & Kanter, 1987; Sherif, 1987). The n a t u r a l i s t i c paradigm i s , of course, not without 14 c r i t i c s . Those s t i l l firmly esconced i n the t r a d i t i o n a l , r a t i o n a l i s t i c camp put forward objections based on that perspective—mainly around issues such as v a l i d i t y , r e l i a b i l i t y and o b j e c t i v i t y . Since these are methodological issues, I w i l l discuss them i n the next section. C. The Research Technique So f a r , we have reframed research i n terms of both focus and perspective. Guba (1981) points out that p r a c t i t i o n e r s of the r a t i o n a l i s t i c and n a t u r a l i s t i c paradigms, or perspectives, tend to take c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t approaches to the question of "the proper way to do research" (p. 79). He sees the predisposition of r a t i o n a l i s t i c p r a c t i t i o n e r s to prefer quantitative methods and n a t u r a l i s t i c p r a c t i t i o n e r s to work with q u a l i t a t i v e methods as so entrenched that "the c o n f l i c t between the two paradigms had frequently been mistaken for a c o n f l i c t between quantitative and q u a l i t a t i v e methods, a mistake i n l o g i c that has led to the generation of a great deal more heat then l i g h t " (p. 78). Guba sees t h i s , i n some cases, as an unnecessary orthodoxy. That may well be true, but the r e a l i t y seems to be that t r a d i t i o n and the connection between epistemological underpinnings and technique interwine quantitative techniques with the r a t i o n a l i s t i c perspective and q u a l i t a t i v e techniques with the n a t u r a l i s t i c perspective. In other words, i t i s d i f f i c u l t to separate methodology or technique from perspective, since the epistemological foundations of a study are generally 15 congruent with i t s p r a c t i c e . In the discussion that follows, the terms quantitative and q u a l i t a t i v e are used to denote research techniques, not perspectives, goals, or underlying philosophies. Quantitative research technique i s characterized by the use of formal instruments to c o l l e c t information about the phenomenon under study. This use of instruments distances the researcher from d i r e c t contact with the "object" of i n v e s t i g a t i o n and i s focused on an attempt to avoid bias and a b e l i e f that bias can, indeed, be avoided t h i s way. Another c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of quantitative technique i s i t s use of numbers to provide information about the phenomenon under investigation. Quantitative researchers focus on a single, objective r e a l i t y , and separate that r e a l i t y into independently manipulated parts, or variables, whxch are then singled out for investigation i n the b e l i e f that they do not necessarily influence the other parts. Quantitative methodologists also prefer beginning with hypotheses, generally i n the form of law-like statements founded on a p r i o r i theory, which are then assessed through experimentation and observation. Thus, i n s t r i v i n g for a mode of inquiry which i s characterized by o b j e c t i v i t y and r i g o r , quantitative technique embraces the processes of manipulation, control and q u a n t i f i c a t i o n . The majority of psychological studies, including research on power, have used quantitative techniques. Investigations of power have been l a r g e l y experimental, rather narrowly focused on measurable b i t s of behaviour emitted by subjects who are tested i n a "controlled" laboratory s i t u a t i o n . As noted above, the 16 major work i n terms of investigating power, which r e a l l y began only i n the m i d - f i f t i e s , has been done with a focus on in d i v i d u a l s ' need for power (power motivation) or n Power (McClelland, 1975; Winter, 1973). In most cases, i n t h i s research, subjects were not t o l d what the research was about. In keeping with t r a d i t i o n a l quantitative methodology, d e f i n i t i o n s of power, i n these studies, originated with the researcher (although these d e f i n i t i o n s were subsequently modified through the fin d i n g s ) . "The existence of the power motive i s assumed and taken as the point of departure. The i n i t i a l question of relevance to them becomes one concerning the experimental arousal and measurement of the power motive" (Ng, 1980, p.135). Marton and Svensson (1979) added that "there i s always an i m p l i c i t assumption that i t i s known what the qu a l i t y i s and i t i s necessary only to ascertain how much of i t can be found" (p. 476). In n Power research, attempts to arouse the power motive were made through d i f f e r e n t means such as: hypnosis demonstrations; videoed speeches of John F. Kennedy; and assigning subjects to the ro l e of psychological experimenter. Although these methods show some c r e a t i v i t y i n terms of determining what McClelland (1975) sees as a necessarily "common-sense" approach on the part of investigators to finding conditions which should arouse the power motive, the experimental techniques employed here cannot be seen as e n t i r e l y s a t i s f a c t o r y since any one method chosen must, obviously, f a l l f a r short of arousing the " f u l l range of experience associated with power" (Ng, 1980, p. 136). Once aroused, the power motive was most often 17 measured through semi-projective t e s t s and questionnaires and, since c o r r e l a t i o n a l studies were the norm here, factor analysis was most commonly used on the data. In noting the l i m i t a t i o n s involved here, McClelland (1975) says: The factor a n a l y t i c procedure i t s e l f gives cause for uneasiness. A notoriously imprecise t o o l , i t y i e l d s d i f f e r e n t r e s u l t s depending upon which tags are included, how many factors are extracted, and what c r i t e r i a are used for extraction and rotation. F i n a l l y , even a f t e r one has discovered which variables load high on a factor, there i s a further lack of pr e c i s i o n i n the way they can be interpreted, (p. 28) Thus, although these studies have undoubtedly made a s i g n i f i c a n t contribution to the understanding of power, they are not, as discussed above, without t h e i r problems. As Millman and Kanter (1987) point out, "methodological assumptions and techniques may l i m i t the reseacher's v i s i o n and produce questionable findings" (p. 35). In l i n e with the n a t u r a l i s t i c perspective chosen, t h i s research reframes the dominant quantitative research technique to q u a l i t a t i v e methods. Qualitative researchers, rather than seeking o b j e c t i v i t y through a "layer of instrumentation" between themselves and the subject of study, use themselves as the data c o l l e c t i o n instruments and, i n so doing, move to more in t e r a c t i v e modes of data c o l l e c t i o n . Lincoln and Guba (1985) suggest that t h i s change from non-human to human data c o l l e c t i o n instruments introduces important elements of s e n s i t i v i t y , responsiveness and f l e x i b i l i t y into the procedure. A s k i l l e d interviewer i s capable of processing and assessing information, to some extent, as i t i s received, and thus has the oppportunity to ask for c l a r i f i c a t i o n , 18 elaboration or concrete examples, as well as to check understanding/misunderstanding of the respondent's meaning. In using themselves as the main research instruments, q u a l i t a t i v e investigators cannot claim the distance and o b j e c t i v i t y which quantitative researchers s t r i v e f or; instead, they acknowledge the mutual influence between researcher and respondent and seek, i n that, greater f l e x i b i l i t y and the opportunity to b u i l d upon t a c i t as well as propositional knowledge (Guba, 1981). Descriptive expression of data i s another di s t i n g u i s h i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of q u a l i t a t i v e research; t h i s contrasts with the nu m e r i c a l / s t a t i s t i c a l expressions of quantitative research. In moving away from s t a t i s t i c a l representations of data, q u a l i t a t i v e techniques move from r e s u l t s which emphasize s i m i l a r i t i e s to re s u l t s which acknowledge v a r i a b i l i t y as being equally s i g n i f i c a n t . F i n a l l y , i n an attempt to circumvent the problems inherent i n firml y f i x i n g the research i n a p r i o r i theory, and i n recognizing that " i f we move too quickly toward manipulating one or two experimental variables we run the r i s k of ignoring the most important variables because we have not s u f f i c i e n t l y described the phenomenon of in t e r e s t " (Wallston & Grady, 1985, p. 11), q u a l i t a t i v e methods focus on theory emerging from the data. This i s sometimes referred to as "grounding" theory (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). Many of the c r i t i c i s m s of the q u a l i t a t i v e approach to research centre on the issues of v a l i d i t y , r e l i a b i l i t y and o b j e c t i v i t y , concepts which ac t u a l l y a r i s e out of the r a t i o n a l i s t i c perspective. V a l i d i t y , i n t h i s paradigm, i s 19 generally seen as accurate i n t e r p r e t a b i l i t y , or "truth" of the research r e s u l t s (internal v a l i d i t y ) and the g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y of these r e s u l t s (external v a l i d i t y ) . The r e l i a b i l i t y of research i s focused on the degree to which findings may be rep l i c a t e d ; i t i s t r a d i t i o n a l l y concerned with design and with the consistency of methods, conditions and findings of research. R e l i a b i l i t y i s a necessary c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of v a l i d i t y ; a study cannot be v a l i d and lack r e l i a b i l i t y . Wiersma (1986) notes, " I f a study i s unrel i a b l e , we can hardly interpret the re s u l t s with confidence or generalize them to other populations and conditions" (p. 7). F i n a l l y , o b j e c t i v i t y concerns i t s e l f with eliminating bias which might influence r e s u l t s ; i t s t r i v e s for methods which "render the study beyond contamination by human f o i b l e s " ( L i n c l o l n & Guba, 1985, p. 293). The n a t u r a l i s t i c researcher, using q u a l i t a t i v e methods, i s often c r i t i c i z e d on r a t i o n a l i s t i c g r o u n d s — p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the areas discussed above. Although some researchers argue that the notions of r e l i a b i l i t y , v a l i d i t y and o b j e c t i v i t y are, themselves, problematic (Macauley, 1985; Mishler, 1986; O'Leary, Unger & Wallston, 1985; Sherif, 1987), Guba (1981) stresses the usefulness of addressing the issue of trustworthiness i n research. Clearly, however, t r a d i t i o n a l conceptualizations of r e l i a b i l i t y , v a l i d i t y and o b j e c t i v i t y , which have been shaped by a r a t i o n a l i s t i c perspective, cannot apply as they stand to t h i s study which i s guided by a n a t u r a l i s t i c perspective and q u a l i t a t i v e techniques. Guba (1981) and Lincoln and Guba (1985) address the issue of 20 trustworthiness i n a way that seems useful, by r e i n t e r p r e t i n g r e l i a b i l i t y , v a l i d i t y and o b j e c t i v i t y to f i t the n a t u r a l i s t i c perspective and q u a l i t a t i v e technique and to r e f l e c t the underlying assumptions of that paradigm. In t h e i r reconceptualization, they suggest four major concerns r e l a t i n g to trustworthiness. The concerns are: (1) truth value—which i s involved with establishing confidence i n the t r u t h of these research findings, for the respondents and i n the context of the study; (2) a p p l i c a b i l i t y — w h i c h determines the degree to which findings of a p a r t i c u l a r study are generalizable to other contexts or other respondents; (3) consistency—which i s concerned with determining how s i m i l a r r e s u l t s would be i f the research were r e p l i c a t e d with s i m i l a r (or the same) respondents; and (4) n e u t r a l i t y — w h i c h determines the impact of researcher bias on the research findings. Within the r a t i o n a l i s t i c paradigm, using quantitative research techniques, truth value i s demonstrated through inte r n a l v a l i d i t y , by demonstrating v e r i s i m i l i t u d e between the research data and the phenomena represented by those data. As Guba (1981) points out, t h i s i s not such an unreasonable expectation i f we hold the b e l i e f that there exists a single r e a l i t y as the object of our study. Since even r a t i o n a l i s t i c researchers do not claim absolute knowledge of the world, hypotheses can never be d i r e c t l y proven, but only disproven—by showing that a plausible, a l t e r n a t i v e hypothesis could also, conceivably, be true. Within the framework of n a t u r a l i s t i c inquiry, which admits multiple r e a l i t i e s e x i s t i n g i n the minds of ind i v i d u a l s , isomorphism i s 21 demonstrated by checking findings and interpretations with the sources (individuals or groups) of data. Internal v a l i d i t y then i s translated into c r e d i b i l i t y , which may be checked by carrying out the research so that the findings w i l l be pla u s i b l e and believable. In t h i s study, the following a c t i v i t i e s were useful i n t h i s regard. F i r s t , I had ample opportunity and used several methods to f a m i l i a r i z e myself with the context and to b u i l d a t r u s t i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p with the respondents. This i s det a i l e d i n Chapter I I I . Second, an external check on the c r e d i b i l i t y of the research findings, i n the form of "peer debriefing" was employed to ensure that, as a researcher, I explored my own biases and assumptions underlying my interpretations. Third, a l l data for t h i s study i s f u l l y recorded, transcribed and archived so that the p o s s i b i l i t y of t e s t i n g findings and interpretations against raw data i s not precluded. F i n a l l y , a modified version of the t e s t i n g method which Guba (1981) and Lincoln and Guba (1985) c a l l e d "member checks" has been employed. This involved t e s t i n g the data (and my interpretations) with members of my data source group, both during the study and a f t e r i t s completion. In the r a t i o n a l i s t i c paradigm, a p p l i c a b i l i t y i s determined as external v a l i d i t y or g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y — t h a t i s , the research must generate context-free truth statements that are enduring over time. Cronbach (1975), however, argued that a l l generalizations decay or break down over time l i k e radioactive material. N a t u r a l i s t s assume that g e n e r a l i z a b i l t y , of the type r e f e r r r e d to by the r a t i o n a l i s t paradigm, i s not possible because 22 findings, p a r t i c u l a r l y those which express the research respondent's experiences, are intimately and irrevocably linked to context. As O'Leary, Unger and Wallston (1985) state, " G e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y may be possible only when we ignore h i s t o r i c a l and s o c i e t a l context" (p. 6). This, of course, does not preclude the p o s s i b i l i t y of some t r a n s f e r a b i l i t y between two situations or contexts which "may occur because of c e r t a i n e s s e n t i a l s i m i l a r i t i e s between them" (Guba, 1981, p. 81). Thus, i n t h i s study, attention has been paid to r e l a t i n g findings to c l e a r l y and f u l l y described context. In order to determine the p r o b a b i l i t y of t r a n s f e r a b i l i t y I have attempted to develop what Geertz (1973) has c a l l e d a "thick description" of the context. This involved such matters as careful observation, information-checking, and c o l l e c t i n g information from those f a m i l i a r with the context. The context of t h i s study i s described i n the following chapter. From the r a t i o n a l i s t i c perspective, r e l i a b i l i t y i s concerned with the consistency aspect of trustworthiness; i t focuses on attempting to ensure that instruments provide stable r e s u l t s . Only then can these r e s u l t s be seen as meaningful. As we know, only i f an enquiry i s r e l i a b l e , can i t be v a l i d — o r , reframed— only i f i t i s dependable, can i t be seen as credible. On one l e v e l then, demonstrating v a l i d i t y (or c r e d i b i l i t y ) proves r e l i a b i l i t y (or dependability). Lincoln and Guba (1985) see t h i s argument as somewhat weak, and Guba (1981), i n discussing the issue of dependability i n a n a t u r a l i s t i c enquiry, guided by q u a l i t a t i v e methodology, points out: 23 the concept of consistency implies not invariance (except by chance) but trackable variance-variance that can be ascribed to sources....The n a t u r a l i s t thus interprets consistency as dependability, a concept that embraces elements both of the s t a b i l t y implied by the r a t i o n a l i s t i c term r e l i a b l e and of the t r a c k a b i l i t y required by the explainable changes i n instrumentation, (p. 81) Lincoln and Guba (1985) suggest that an "audit t r a i l " be established, so that i t i s possible to examine, i n d e t a i l , both the process and the r e s u l t s of the study f o r dependability. To t h i s end, I have documented, i n the form of audio tapes, typed t r a n s c r i p t s and process/method notes, the procedures whereby data were c o l l e c t e d and analyzed i n t h i s study. In t h e i r discussion of r e l i a b i l i t y i n phenomenographic research, Renstrom, Andersson and Marton (1988) contend that since categories of description, the main r e s u l t s on phenomenographic research, are "discovered" by the investigator, i t would be unreasonable to expect another researcher analyzing the same material to necessarily end up with i d e n t i c a l r e s u l t s . Phenomenographers, however, do i n s i s t that once categories have been discovered, these should be communicable to others. Giorgi (1975) argues much t h i s same point when he says: The control comes from the researcher 1s context or perspective of the data. Once the context and intention becomes known, the divergence i s usually i n t e l l i g i b l e to a l l even i f not u n i v e r s a l l y agreeable. Thus the chief point to be remembered with t h i s type of research i s not so much whether another p o s i t i o n with respect to the data could be adopted (this point i s granted beforehand), but whether a reader, adopting the same viewpoint as a r t i c u l a t e d by the researcher, can also see what the researcher saw, whether or not he agrees with i t . That i s the key c r i t e r i o n for q u a l i t a t i v e research, (p. 96) Thus, i n t h i s study, I also used inter-judge r e l i a b i l i t y t e s t i n g to determine dependability. This process, and i t s r e s u l t s , are 24 discussed more f u l l y i n the Chapter I I I . The f i n a l concern for research trustworthiness i s n e u t r a l i t y ; t h i s i s framed as o b j e c t i v i t y from the r a t i o n a l i s t i c perspective and c o n f i r m a b i l i t y from the n a t u r a l i s t i c perspective. Within a r a t i o n a l i s t i c perspective, o b j e c t i v i t y i s assumed to be guaranteed by methodology, but i t i s now obvious, even i n the "pure" natural sciences, that the very choice of a methodology r e f l e c t s investigator bias. Researchers working from a n a t u r a l i s t i c paradigm accept the r e a l i t y that, as instruments of data c o l l e c t i o n , t h e i r own predispositions have a r o l e to play. Also, the n a t u r a l i s t i c investigator i s attempting not to uncover or confirm unchanging facts or some invariant truth, but rather to discover the meanings that i n d i v i d u a l s attach to t h e i r worlds and with which they create and sustain t h e i r worlds. Thus the focus i n t h i s study i s on mutually-defined understanding; the data must be confirmable. In the interests of c o n f i r m a b i l i t y i n t h i s study, I discuss not only the research question and method, but also myself as investigator i n terms of the i n t e r e s t s and orientations I bring to t h i s study. In doing t h i s , I i n t e n t i o n a l l y reveal myself and my underlying assumptions, which must necessarily a f f e c t my findings. Use of the audit t r a i l i n terms of a comfirmability audit to v e r i f y the existence of data which supports my interpretations (as well as confirming that interpretations " f i t " that data) has, of course, operated within the framework of defending t h i s study as "thesis." Thus, the content and outcome of t h i s work has been reviewed, not only through inter-judge r e l i a b i l i t y t e s t i n g , but also by my thesis 25 committee. In proposing the above c r i t e r i a as checkpoints against which the trustworthiness of n a t u r a l i s t i c inquiry can be judged, Guba (1981) points out that these cannot stand as absolute guarantees against untrustworthiness. Indeed, some l e v e l of uncertainty i s expected by n a t u r a l i s t s . Despite t h i s , these c r i t e r i a constitute the most v a l i d standards, at t h i s point, for judging n a t u r a l i s t i c research. Guba (1981) contends that when a n a t u r a l i s t i c study i s evaluated: I t i s inappropriate to apply the r a t i o n a l i s t i c c r i teria...under any circumstances. To suggest, for example, that a n a t u r a l i s t i c study i s unacceptable because controls were not i n s t i t u t e d , subjects were not randomly selected, instrumental r e s u l t s were not rep l i c a t e d , or the investigator was not properly objective i s simply u n j u s t i f i e d , (p. 88) Thus i n reframing t r a d i t i o n a l quantitative research technique to q u a l i t a t i v e technique, t h i s study also approaches the issues of v a l i d i t y , r e l i a b i l i t y and o b j e c t i v i t y from a reframed epistemological framework and assesses these issues from that basis. In paying p a r t i c u l a r attention to the importance of context, u t i l i z i n g my own resources as a data c o l l e c t i o n instrument rather than r e l y i n g on "objective" instrumentation, and describing research r e s u l t s d e s c r i p t i v e l y rather than s t a t i s t i c a l l y , t h i s study u t i l i z e s research techniques which complement i t s i n t e r e s t i n women's conceptions. D. The Research Question The p a r t i c u l a r focus, perspective and techniques chosen for 26 r a research project necessarily a f f e c t and inform every aspect of that investigation, including the questions i t i s possible to ask. This research, unlike t r a d i t i o n a l psychological investigations of power, comes out of an attitude of "not-knowing" rather than emerging from s p e c i f i e d , preconceived hypotheses, or r e l y i n g on a p r i o r i theory. The research question i s thus much more general than t r a d i t i o n a l questions and does not imply cause-and-effeet rela t i o n s h i p s . This study was designed to answer the following question: What are the conceptions of power held by women p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n an all-woman work group? As noted, t h i s study was conducted from the n a t u r a l i s t i c perspective and used q u a l i t a t i v e techniques. Its purpose was to explore the v a r i a t i o n i n the respondents' conceptualization of the s o c i a l phenomenon of power as they experienced i t within t h e i r work group. Chapter III discusses the research design through an examination of phenomenography, the p a r t i c u l a r n a t u r a l i s t i c perspective u t i l i z e d i n t h i s inquiry. Within t h i s discussion, i t defines the notion of conceptions as i t i s used i n the research q u e s t i o n — a notion i n t e g r a l to the conduct of phenomenographic research. I t also delimits the p a r t i c u l a r context of the a l l -woman work group. The chapter continues with a description of data c o l l e c t i o n and analysis and concludes by r e f l e c t i n g on li m i t a t i o n s of the study. 27 I I I . METHODOLOGY This chapter i s intended to provide an understanding of both the underlying concepts and the procedures that guided the design and implementation of t h i s research study. Chapter II situated t h i s work within a p a r t i c u l a r perspective ( n a t u r a l i s t i c ) and a p a r t i c u l a r technique ( q u a l i t a t i v e ) . This chapter discusses phenomenography, the s p e c i f i c type of research c a r r i e d out i n t h i s study, and describes the research technique (data c o l l e c t i o n and a n a l y s i s ) . A. Phenomenoqrapahv Inspired by the very old human science t r a d i t i o n of phenomenology, an empirical research approach aimed at discovering and organizing the ways i n which people make sense of various aspects of t h e i r world has been developed i n Sweden, by a group i n the Department of Education, at the University of Gothenburg. This approach i s c a l l e d phenomenography, a term which f i r s t appeared i n p r i n t i n 1981, i n a journal a r t i c l e by Ference Marton, a member of that group and sometimes c a l l e d the "godfather 1 1 of phenomenography (Dahlgren, 1987) . As might be expected, phenomenography i s related, i n some ways to phenomenology and, indeed, Marton has c a l l e d i t , at times, "empirical phenomenology." I t may be useful, then, to discuss the unique features of phenomenography i n the context of s i m i l a r i t i e s and differences between i t and phenomenology. The 28 fundamental c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of phenomenography, and one which distinguishes i t from phenomenology as a r e l a t i v e l y d i s t i n c t f i e l d of inquiry, i s i t s second-order research perspective (Gibbs, 1982; Marton, 1981, 1988; Saljo, 1979, 1988). Simply put, a second-order perspective attempts to describe the world as seen through the eyes of the respondent; i t i s concerned, above a l l , with "how the world i s construed by the actors" (Saljo, 1988, p. 36). Phenomenography holds as a tenet that "the mapping of the hidden world of human conception should be a s p e c i a l i z a t i o n i n i t s own r i g h t " (Marton, 1986, p. 3). I t i n s i s t s that describing the way people view the world i s a worthy enterprise i n i t s e l f and can stand as the respectable "end" of a research endeavour. A f i r s t - o r d e r perspective such as phenomenology, on the other hand, concentrates on experience. One way of i l l u s t r a t i n g the difference between a f i r s t - o r d e r and a second-order perspective i s to consider several approaches to the research topic being investigated i n t h i s study. A phenomenologist, i n investigating women's experience of power i n a p a r t i c u l a r work-group, for instance, might be focused on learning about the experience of power i n that p a r t i c u l a r s e t t i n g . A t r a d i t i o n a l psychological study might be interested i n women's experience of power i n the group as a way of centering on the process of perception or thought i t s e l f , i n an attempt to discover general laws of thought and perception which could then be applied to any s i t u a t i o n or subject; or, i t might define power and then attempt to measure each woman's "need" for power and perhaps correlate that with behavioural c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . In t h i s 29 phenomenogaphic study, however, the aim i s , quite simply, to learn about women's conceptions of power. A second difference between phenomenography and phenomenology centres on the the l a t t e r ' s focus on the essence of experience. The notion of essence, i n t h i s case, ref e r s to phenomenology's concentration on that which i s common to the phenomenon studied. In an attempt to discover the essence of power, fo r example, the researcher would look for intersubjective agreement on aspects of power. Phenomenographers, on the other hand, are interested i n the variatio n s i n experience—both i n t r a s u b j e c t i v e l y and in t e r s u b j e c t i v e l y (Larsson & Helmstad, 1985; Marton, 1979, 1986). Although they are interested i n v a r i a t i o n as opposed to invariant common meaning, phenomenographers do not focus on the id i o s y n c r a t i c . In phenomenographic studies, researchers have consistently discovered that phenomena are conceptualized i n a lim i t e d number of q u a l i t a t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t ways (Gibbs, Morgan & Taylor, 1980; Marton, 1981, 1986, 1988; Marton & Saljo, 1976; Saljo, 1981). "In between the common and the i d i o s y n c r a t i c there seems, thus, to e x i s t a l e v e l : a l e v e l of modes of experience, forms of thought, worthwhile studying" (Marton, 1981, p. 181). It i s in t e r e s t i n g to note that Marton (1984), i n a discussion of t h i s issue of phenomenography's i n t e r e s t i n v a r i a t i o n as opposed to a f i r s t - o r d e r research i n t e r e s t i n essence, introduces a d i f f e r e n t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the term essence. In t h i s less commonly considered interpretation, the underlying structure of the factual v a r i a t i o n obtained i n i 30 phenomenographic research could be seen as the "essence" of the conception. I t i s only i n t h i s sense, "that we can look for invariance i n a set of varying conceptions" (Marton, 1984, p. 62). This i s important, because phenomenography i s interested i n , not merely the l i s t i n g of d i f f e r e n t conceptions, but also the discovery of some l o g i c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p between conceptions of the phenomenon i n question. This focus on discovering and mapping the v a r i a t i o n of conceptions " i n terms of sets of d i s t i n c t i v e categories of description, where each category corresponds to a s p e c i a l conception of a c e r t a i n phenomenon" (Ibid, p. 61) i s unique to phenomenography and could be seen as a t h i r d difference between t h i s approach and phenomenology. People's descriptions of the phenomenon i n question are categorized and systemized and these categorizations are seen as the main outcomes of phenomenographic research (Marton, 1986). This ordering of the categories of description i s c a l l e d an outcome space and could be likened to a map of inner experience i n r e l a t i o n to the phenomenon i n question. In categorizing people's descriptions of t h e i r experience, the phenomenographic researcher i s looking for the distinguishing c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s i n conceptions—the s i g n i f i c a n t differences that emerge i n the ways that individuals define or explain the phenomenon being investigated. In t h i s focus on people's conceptions of the world, the phenomenographer takes "an epistemological p o s i t i o n where the existence of a ' r e a l ' r e a l i t y , common to a l l and available through the 'unbiased' observation of the world i s not recognized" (Saljo, 1988, p. 37). The term 31 conception, as used here, refers to the i n d i v i d u a l s ' understandings of the world—the f i l t e r s through which people see, so to speak. In describing someone's exp e r i e n t i a l r e a l i t y , the researcher must explore, with the respondent, the phenomenon i n question, as i t i s understood and experienced by that person. In t h i s way, phenomenographic research i s very much an act of discovery (Gibbs, 1982). Marton (1988) compared t h i s with other research approaches: We might say that when we describe behaviour we are looking at the i n d i v i d u a l , when we describe the "mental apparatus" we are t r y i n g to look into them and when we aim at ex p e r i e n t i a l description we are t r y i n g to look with them and see the world as they see i t . (p. 7) Since a conception i s a description of "the phenomenon as understood" (Ibid.), i t i s , of course, not only e x p e r i e n t i a l , but also r e l a t i o n a l . Conceptions are not "inherent q u a l i t i e s i n the mind of the thinker or i n the objects/phenomena themselves" (Saljo, 1988, p. 44), but involve both the i n d i v i d u a l and the phenomenon i n question. There can be no understanding without the "understander," and a l l that she brings to that, and neither can there be understanding without the "what" to be understood, or apprehended. Marton (1984) points out that the r e l a t i o n s , then, are between what i s being conceptualized or perceived and the one who i s doing the conceptualizing or perceiving. He sees one of the researcher's main tasks being the discovery and desc r i p t i o n of these " d i s t i n c t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t ways i n which ind i v i d u a l s r e l a t e themselves to various aspects of t h e i r world" (p. 45). The phenomenographic researcher seeks to bring to v i s i b i l i t y the world as i t i s experienced by the experiencer 32 (Marton & Svensson, 1979). Marton (1984) reminds us out that these person/world relationships are often j u s t taken for granted. He believes that research has an important function to play, i n bringing to l i g h t our unexamined, t a c i t b e l i e f that we see and experience the world as i t a c t u a l l y i s , and that others see i t i n the same way. This brings us to a fourth difference between phenomenology and phenomenography. T r a d i t i o n a l phenomenology, although also dealing with person/world relationships, i n s i s t s that the researcher should attempt to "bracket" and set aside conceptual thought and focus on the world through immediate experience. Phenomenography, i n describing the ind i v i d u a l ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p with the world, does not d i s t i n g u i s h between immediate experience and conceptual thought i n t h i s way, but simply describes the i n d i v i d u a l ' s r e l a t i o n s with the phenomenon i n question. In phenomenography we "deal with the conceptual and the e x p e r i e n t i a l , as well as what i s thought of as that which i s l i v e d " (Marton, 1981, p. 181). I f we accept phenomenography•s r e l a t i o n a l view of human functioning, i t follows that conceptions are also i n e x t r i c a b l y linked to context. Gibbs (1982) recounts an i n t e r e s t i n g example of the contextual nature of conceptions; i t centres on the 1978 work of Marton and Dahlgren, concerning children's conceptions of p r i c e . Two d i f f e r e n t conceptions were discovered: (a) that p r i c e represents a rel a t i o n s h i p between supply and demand, and (b) that p r i c e i s related to some innate value of the commodity. In a l a t e r investigation, Dahlgren asked two groups of t h i r t y 33 children each (one group aged 11; the other aged 13), "Why does a bun cost one krona?" Only one c h i l d i n each group demonstrated the supply-demand conception. However, when the question, "Why does a diamond r i n g cost more that a b i c y c l e ? " was asked, almost h a l f the f i r s t group, and more that h a l f of the second group responded with supply-demand conceptions. This discussion of conceptions as context-related, raises another important point—namely, that we cannot assume which conception of a p a r t i c u l a r phenomenon an i n d i v i d u a l w i l l hold. In fact, respondents' conceptions may well vary with the context i n which they f i n d themselves (Johansson, Marton & Svensson, 1985; Saljo, 1988). Conceptions may also change with, for example, new learning or experience (Marton, 1981). Thus d i f f e r e n t conceptions can be held, not only by d i f f e r e n t i n d i v i d u a l s , but by the same person, who might hold several, even contradictory, conceptions at the same time. Phenomenographers do not use conceptions to la b e l or judge people, nor do they see categories of description as representative of c e r t a i n groups of people. Instead, they f i n d i t useful to think of the outcome space as "an abstract system of description, a gigantic space of categories, i n which the individuals move-more or le s s f r e e l y -back and f o r t h " (Marton, 1984, p. 62). As pointed out e a r l i e r , phenomenographic researchers have empirically demonstrated, again and again, that when conceptions are organized into categories of description, a l i m i t e d number of q u a l i t a t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t conceptions are found. "The set of categories i s thus stable and generalizable between situations, even i f the i n d i v i d u a l s 'move' 34 from one category to another on d i f f e r e n t occasions" (Marton, 1984, p.62). In regard to the rel a t i o n s h i p between conceptions and categories of descriptions, conceptions are demonstrated by some one i n r e l a t i o n to some thing i n the r e a l world. Conceptions can be seen as mental "acts." In depicting categories of description, "a d i s t i n c t i o n i s thus made between the act of experiencing or conceptualizing a phenomenon and the characterization of the structure and meaning of that act" (Renstrom, Andersson & Marton, 1988, p. 12). The act of conceptualizing has psychological r e a l i t y ; categories of descriptions are abstracted from that r e a l i t y (Ibid). When we turn from discussing conceptions to categories of description, we ignore, f o r the moment, what Marton (1981) refe r s to as: the dynamic-activity perspective...and we consider the categories almost as i f they were "frozen" forms of thought. The r e l a t i o n s h i p between conception as an act of conceiving and conception as a category of description resembles the rel a t i o n s h i p between Lewis C a r o l l ' s smiling cat and the smile that i s l e f t when the cat i s separated from the smiling. (p. 196) Each conception, or category of description, then, stands as a unique way of viewing or understanding the world, and i s q u a l i t a t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t from other conceptions of the same phenomenon. I t i s possible, also, to see v a r i a t i o n i n the int e r n a l structure of the conception. This v a r i a t i o n i s a re s u l t of what the experiencer focuses on or emphasizes; i t i s a r e f l e c t i o n of p e r s p e c t i v e — o f the point of view from which the scene encompassing the conception i s seen. " I t i s a v a r i a t i o n i n the figure-ground structure superimposed on that scene" 35 (Renstrom, Andersson & Marton, 1989, p. 50). Theman (1983), i n h i s study of c i t i z e n s * conceptions of p o l i t i c a l power, argues that each conception can be discussed i n two d i f f e r e n t ways. The noematic aspect of a conception refers to i t s "what" component, and describes aspects of the phenomenon in terms of what the i n d i v i d u a l understands i t to be. On the other hand, the "how" component of the description focuses on the way i n which the understood i s apprehended. This i s the noetic aspect, and i t addresses the l o g i c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p between conceptions of d i f f e r e n t phenomena (Marton, 1984). The noematic and noetic aspects of conceptions can only be t h e o r e t i c a l l y separated; i n r e a l i t y , they cannot e x i s t apart from one another (Lybeck, Marton, Stromdahl & Tulberg, 1987). Phenomenography can thus be seen as a r e l a t i v e l y unique research approach. Called, at times, "empirical phenomenology," i t shares with phenomenology a r e l a t i o n a l , e x p e r i e n t i a l approach to discovering the way i n which indivi d u a l s see and conceptualize aspects of t h e i r world. Unlike phenomenology, however, i t adopts a second-order perspective, focuses on v a r i a t i o n rather than "essence," finds i t unnecessary to attempt to focus on pre-r e f l e c t i v e thinking, and discovers categories of description and organizes these into an outcome space which i s a systemization of the v a r i a t i o n i n conceptions of the p a r t i c u l a r phenomenon under inve s t i g a t i o n . This type of research i s c a r r i e d out within a n a t u r a l i s t i c approach, using q u a l i t a t i v e research techniques. The following sections w i l l discuss t h i s i n d e t a i l . 36 B. Data C o l l e c t i o n As noted i n Chapter I I , methodological procedures, such as those followed i n data c o l l e c t i o n and data analysis a r i s e out of the p a r t i c u l a r research perspective chosen. Glaser and Strauss (1967) pointed out that the adequacy of r e s u l t s cannot be separated from the processes which generate these r e s u l t s . 1. Context: Participants and Setting  Participants The p a r t i c i p a n t s i n t h i s study were UBC women graduate students i n Counselling Psychology who were enrolled i n the course CNPS 588, and who were members of the "gender-fair" (or "women's") c l i n i c team, as well as the instructor/supervisor of t h i s team. The main research project involved the entir e 1989-1990 c l i n i c team: s i x Master's l e v e l students; one Doctoral l e v e l supervisor-in-training; and the c l i n i c s u p e r v i s o r — a UBC ins t r u c t o r . In addition to these eight, two women who had been members of previous years* c l i n i c teams were interviewed for the p i l o t study. In the case of the major study, access to the group was gained by contacting the supervising professor and meeting with her, i n person, to explain my research i n t e r e s t , aims and methodology. She then agreed to approach the group i n order to give them a very b r i e f overview of the proposed research project and to ask them i f they had any int e r e s t i n volunteering to be interviewed for a study concerned with women's conceptions of 37 power. She assured the group that they were, i n no way, expected or required to p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h i s study, and suggested that, i f they were interested, they might i n v i t e me to meet with them to give them more information and answer any questions they might have. The group agreed that they were interested i n hearing more about the proposed study; at the same time, they were very concerned about l o s i n g valuable " c l i n i c time." Accordingly, I was i n v i t e d to meet with the group one morning, a h a l f hour before t h e i r c l i n i c work o f f i c i a l l y began for the day. I, at that time, more f u l l y explained the research process; reiterated, again, the voluntary nature of t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n ; and answered t h e i r questions. The conversation was focused and l i v e l y ; group members demonstrated c u r i o s i t y and i n t e r e s t i n the project and somewhat spontaneously, unanimously agreed to p a r t i c i p a t e . One group member, who was absent, was l a t e r " f i l l e d i n " by other group members. She expressed inte r e s t i n t a l k i n g to me further; I contacted her p r i v a t e l y and answered her queries, and she, too, agreed to p a r t i c i p a t e . I t should be noted that the supervising professor was not present at the meeting between the group and the researcher. I t was understood that she would consider her own willingness to p a r t i c i p a t e i n the research and that, whatever her decision, the project would proceed with the rest of the group, i f the remaining members agreed to p a r t i c i p a t e . The supervisor consequently decided to p a r t i c i p a t e f u l l y i n the s t u d y — a decision which has enriched t h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n of women's conceptions of power. 38 Borg and G a l l ' s (1979) suggestions for improving the rate of volunteering and for minimizing a t t r i t i o n were u t i l i z e d i n t h i s study i n the following ways: 1. In addressing the group, I made the appeal as i n t e r e s t i n g as possible. Since the target population was an a l l -woman work group, i t seemed to follow that a group of women who, for the most part, had chosen to work within that p a r t i c u l a r group because of a common intere s t i n counselling women, would f i n d the subject of women's conceptions of power an in t e r e s t i n g one. These women might also be expected to show some int e r e s t i n p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n a research study at the Master's l e v e l , since most of them had not begun t h e i r thesis work and, thus, might anti c i p a t e learning something about the research process through t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n . 2. I presented the prospect of p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the study as being nonthreatening so that potential volunteers would not be put o f f by unwarranted fears of being somehow evaluated unfavourably because of t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Thus I addressed such issues as privacy and c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y and assured the group that p a r t i c i p a n t s would be not be i d e n t i f i e d and, as far as possible, would not be i d e n t i f i a b l e . I raised these issues early i n our meeting together, and took pains then and, again, when meeting with indiv i d u a l s i n the interview s i t u a t i o n to assure them that I would tr e a t t h e i r disclosures with the utmost r e s p e c t — f o r t h e i r sakes and for the sakes of group members who might be discussed during the interview. Students were also assured that t h e i r t r a n s c r i p t s would not be reproduced i n t h e i r 39 t o t a l i t y i n the t h e s i s i t s e l f , and t h a t i n f o r m a t i o n which would i d e n t i f y i n d i v i d u a l s — p a r t i c u l a r l y i n f o r m a t i o n o f a " s e n s i t i v e " n a t u r e , would not be d i v u l g e d w i thou t the expres s consent o f the i n d i v i d u a l concerned . T h i s approach seemed, t o me, impor tant from an e t h i c a l p o i n t o f v iew. I t a l s o s e r ved the purpose o f f a c i l i t a t i n g hones t , open communicat ion w i t h i n t h e i n t e r v i e w s i t u a t i o n wh ich , o f c o u r s e , i s r e f l e c t e d i n t h e i n t e r v i e w d a t a . 3. The t h e o r e t i c a l and p r a c t i c a l importance o f the r e s e a r c h was addres sed and s t r e s s e d from a f e m i n i s t p e r s p e c t i v e . These were c o n s i d e r a t i o n s which seemed p a r t i c u l a r l y s i g n i f i c a n t t o t h i s p a r t i c u l a r group o f women, most o f whom saw t h e i r main f ocus i n c o u n s e l l i n g as the empowering o f women i n the wor ld and who, w i thou t e x c e p t i o n , d e f i n e d themse lves as f e m i n i s t s . 4. F u r t h e r t o s tep number t h r e e , I d i s c u s s e d women c o u n s e l l o r s ' v iews o f power as b e i n g p a r t i c u l a r l y impor tant t o an u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f women and power, and t o an unde r s t and ing o f how power dynamics might f a c i l i t a t e o r d i s r u p t women's work t o g e t h e r . 5. A l though i t was not p o s s i b l e t o o f f e r e i t h e r payment o r c o u r t e s y g i f t s t o p a r t i c i p a n t s , I d i d o f f e r t o share r e s e a r c h f i n d i n g s , academic m a t e r i a l r e l a t i n g t o the p a r t i c u l a r r e s e a r c h method employed, and i n f o r m a t i o n which might a i d i n d i v i d u a l s i n t h e i r own f u t u r e r e s e a r c h . A l l respondents r eques ted communicat ion i n v o l v i n g the r e s e a r c h f i n d i n g s ; one respondent r e q u e s t e d a copy o f he r i n t e r v i e w t r a n s c r i p t i n i t s e n t i r e t y ; and, t o d a t e , t h r e e respondents have reques ted s p e c i f i c a d v i c e o r i n f o r m a t i o n r e l a t e d t o t h e i r own p r o s p e c t i v e r e s e a r c h . 6. In keep ing w i t h Borg and G a l l ' s s u g g e s t i o n t h a t the 40 request for volunteering be made by a woman of high status, the i n i t i a l request was presented by the c l i n i c supervisor/instructor. The researcher's own status was probably enhanced by several factors, including the p o s i t i v e evaluation of both the proposed research and the researcher by the c l i n i c supervisor. Subsequent feedback from volunteer respondents ale r t e d me to the p o s i t i v e e f f e c t that t h i s had on t h e i r decisions to p a r t i c i p a t e . 7 . Although the interviews were time-consuming i n the l i g h t of graduate students' busy schedules, I made every e f f o r t to ensure that the interviews were as non-stressful as possible for par t i c i p a n t s . Some of my e f f o r t s i n t h i s d i r e c t i o n included: scheduling at the respondent's convenience; conducting interviews, depending on the partici p a n t ' s wish, i n her home or o f f i c e , i n the home of the interviewer, or i n an o f f i c e on campus; o f f e r i n g , when possible, refreshments such as tea or coffee; attempting to be respectful of time constraints the respondent might be operating under (although, actually, most interviews went over the i n i t i a l l y - p r o p o s e d time of one and a ha l f to two hours, i t was the partici p a n t ' s choice to continue the discussion); and communicating an honest respect and appreciation for the p a r t i c i p a n t — h e r views and b e l i e f s and, i n some cases, her very honest struggles with these. 8. In my meeting with the group, I stressed the normative nature of volunteering for research, p a r t i c u l a r l y for graduate students, who not only would be interested i n the research per se, but who also would, i n the future, be faced with r e c r u i t i n g 41 volunteers for t h e i r own projects. 9. The i n i t i a l request for volunteers was presented by someone "known" to the prospective respondents, and she personalized the request by sharing her own regard f o r the researcher. Although I was not personally known (except by the supervisor and the supervisor-in-training), I had the advantage of being a "senior" student i n the same department as the respondents and, further, shared with them the experience of having p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the women's c l i n i c group as well as a commitment to counselling women. 10. Although Borg and Ga l l suggest that i n situ a t i o n s where volunteering i s regarded as normative, a c a l l f or public commitment to volunteer i s l i k e l y to be most successful, I chose to give group members the option of making t h e i r choice private. The group, however, took the i n i t i a t i v e to opt for enthusiastic, public commitment. Information gathered through interviews and questionnaires (see Appendix B) portrays the respondents as a heterogenous group i n some ways and, at the same time, si m i l a r , i n c e r t a i n respects. The p a r t i c i p a n t s ranged i n age from 27 to 57 years with a mean age of 40 years and a median age of 36. At the time of the interviews, f i v e of the women were married or l i v i n g with a man; three were not. Two of the married women revealed that they were struggling with serious d i f f i c u l t i e s i n t h e i r relationships with t h e i r spouses. Six of the women were Canadian born, one was American born, and one was born i n Kenya. One woman possessed an Ed.D.; two possessed M.A.'s: (one, i n Counselling Psychology and 42 the other i n Sports Psychology); one possessed an M.Ed.; and four possessed B.A.'s. Their professional backgrounds varied. Two of the women had f a i r l y extensive volunteer experience i n counselling, while two others (the instr u c t o r and the supervisor-in-training) had worked pr o f e s s i o n a l l y i n t h i s area. Other professional experience included: teaching at the College and University l e v e l ; teaching at the elementary school l e v e l ; sports coaching; and business-related employment. Four of the eight group members joined the Women's C l i n i c as a clear-cut, f i r s t choice on t h e i r parts. Comments such as, "This i s my utmost choice!" or, "It's where I wanted to focus;" and, "For me, i t was a natural progression...to go into the Women's C l i n i c , " are c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of these women's descriptions of how they got themselves to t h i s p a r t i c u l a r c l i n i c . Of the remaining four par t i c i p a n t s , two had come to Women's C l i n i c as one of several equally a t t r a c t i v e choices, and two had chosen Women's C l i n i c as t h e i r second choice. A l l eight members of the C l i n i c Team, even those few who had i n i t i a l l y experienced some apprehension, expressed that they were, at t h i s point, happy to have ended up on the Women's C l i n i c team. F, for example, expressed: At f i r s t , I wasn't s u r e . . . i f anything I was probably, maybe even a l i t t l e disappointed. And a l i t t l e b i t apprehensive..I wasn't at a l l sure...and then—I'm r e a l l y delighted! I'm not at a l l r e g r e t f u l that t h i s i s the way i t ' s turned out. (F - 6 , 7 ) * •Throughout t h i s document, quotes from t r a n s c r i p t s are i d e n t i f i e d by t r a n s c r i p t l e t t e r (F) followed by page number(s) (F - 6 , 7 ) . Nonlexical expressions and pauses are included here as i n the o r i g i n a l t r a n s c r i p t s . I n i t i a l s do not correspond to respondents' names. 43 When asked i f t h e i r membership i n Women's C l i n i c implied a commitment to working primarily with women, as professional counsellors, seven of the women indicated that t h i s was d e f i n i t e l y true for them. C stated her p o s i t i o n as, "I choose to work with women because we're so important" and, "I think i t ' s a very v i a b l e choice to say, 'No, I don't want to work with men! I want to work with women! I l i k e women" (C -5). Another cou n s e l l o r - i n - t r a i n i n g , G, commented: "I think, because of the way my focus i s changing, i n terms of feminist issues etc., I jus t think that I have, maybe you could say, more of a c a l l i n g to work with women than men" (G-7). One of the par t i c i p a n t s saw herse l f as evolving i n the d i r e c t i o n of choosing to work prim a r i l y with women but didn't see that as a f i n a l commitment at that time. She says, at one point, "I think I f e e l better about working—focusing—on women, because i t has a l o t to do with me. Lik e . . t h i s i s my journey as well, you know" (F - 9 ). At another point, she states that she plans to work as a spec i a l needs counsellor with men and women, for a period of time, and she says: So, I ' l l have a chance to tes t i t and sort of have a (sic) opportunity to make..to face that decision again, and to fi n d out i f I've made the r i g h t choice, because I ' l l have a chance to see i f I enjoy working with men, as well. (F-8) A l l eight women expressed that t h e i r commitment to work with women was based on t h e i r own experience, as women, i n the world. D says, "Well, I guess i t gets down to my feelings of powerlessness, you know, that I've had i n my l i f e , " (D-5) 44 and, " In g e n e r a l , I f e e l t h a t t h e r e ' s a o n e - s i d e d power d i f f e r e n t i a l i n t h i s s o c i e t y . . . and I guess I'm j u s t e x p r e s s i n g my own. . . ou t rage i s a b i t s t r o n g . . b u t my own anger a t the power d i f f e r e n t i a l " (D-8) . Another woman, A, expre s se s he r focus t h i s way, " I t i n v o l v e s . . f o r me..empowering women. I see myse l f as uh . . coming from a background where women w e r e n ' t e q u a l . . . a n d I ' ve a lways fought a g a i n s t t h a t " (A -3 ) . C say s , " I t comes out o f my own p e r s o n a l e x p e r i e n c e o f f e e l i n g c o m p l e t e l y power le s s i n the w o r l d " ( C - 5 ) . And H s t a t e s : I t comes out o f my b a c k g r o u n d . . i t comes out o f my u p b r i n g i n g w h i c h . . . a g a i n . . i s b e i n g a woman—one—and b e i n g a woman from a d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r e . We 're t a u g h t . . v e r y much so, t h a t t h i s i s a . . . . m a n ' s w o r l d . . a n d t h a t we have no p l a c e i n t h i s man's w o r l d . (H-4) As n o t e d , a l l e i g h t women i d e n t i f i e d themse lves as f e m i n i s t s . A l though t h e i r p e r s o n a l under s tand ing s o f the term v a r i e d somewhat, two common themes were: (a) t h e v a l u i n g o f women, and (b) some acknowledgement o f the need t o r e d r e s s acknowledged e x i s t i n g i n e q u a l i t i e s between men and women. The main d i f f e r e n c e among p e r s o n a l d e f i n i t i o n s o f the word " f e m i n i s t " pu t fo rward by women i n t h i s group, seemed t o h inge on the degree and d i r e c t i o n o f " a c t i o n " i n v o l v e d i n b e i n g f e m i n i s t . Among team members, t h i s a spec t o f b e i n g f e m i n i s t r an the f o l l o w i n g range: " b e i n g " (ex. s e l f - r e s p e c t i n g , s e l f - n u r t u r i n g ) ; " a f f i r m i n g " (ex. b e i n g a woman); " v a l u i n g / r e s p e c t i n g " (ex. women; women's worth and r e s o u r c e s ) ; " b e i n g concerned about " (ex. how women can c l a i m what i s r i g h t f u l l y t h e i r s ) ; " s u p p o r t i n g " (ex. equa l t r e a t m e n t ) ; " a c t i n g o n — b o t h p e r s o n a l l y and s o c i a l l y " (ex. v a l u i n g the female e q u a l l y w i t h the m a l e ) ; "empowering" (women); and, " b e i n g an 45 advocate f o r " (ex. women's ri g h t s and equal opportunities). In summary, the respondents were eight women who comprised the t o t a l membership of an all-woman work g r o u p — i n t h i s case, a team of counsellors and couns e l l o r s - i n - t r a i n i n g . The women ranged i n age from twenty-six to fi f t y - s e v e n years and were a f a i r l y mixed group i n terms of l i f e experience, work experience and counselling experience. Although t h e i r backgrounds and values d i f f e r e d somewhat, a l l eight described instances of having experienced powerlessness or devaluation, i n some way, as "women" i n the world, and/or reported having observed other women i n such experiences. A l l expressed feminist values which included valuing and supporting other women. Since, i n phenomenographic research the context i s accorded great importance, we w i l l now discuss the group set t i n g i n some d e t a i l . Setting The actual context of t h i s study was a UBC c l i n i c a l t r a i n i n g laboratory for women graduate students i n Counselling Psychology. The focus of the work and t r a i n i n g was the counselling of women, and the format, an all-woman work/training group, located o f f campus at a government-sponsered Women's Employment Counselling Unit (WECU). One day a week, for the entire academic year (September-April), the above-described group of s i x counsellors-i n - t r a i n i n g , one supervisor-in-training, and t h e i r supervisor worked within the larger confines of o f f i c e s and group rooms occupied by WECU, u t i l i z i n g a large meeting room and several counselling rooms equipped with viewing windows and video and 46 audio equipment. Although t h i s Women's C l i n i c Group operated, i n most respects, very independently of WECU, r e l a t i o n s between the two groups were f r i e n d l y and cooperative. C l i e n t s coming into WECU with employment-related issues were i n i t i a l l y interviewed and assessed by WECU counsellors, and those c l i e n t s judged to be dealing with factors not d i r e c t l y related to vocational issues were referred, by the agency intake counsellor, to the Women's C l i n i c Team for personal counselling. Counsellors-in-training worked with these c l i e n t s on an ongoing basis throughout the academic year, under the d i r e c t i o n of t h e i r Doctoral supervisor-i n - t r a i n i n g and t h e i r supervisor, a UBC ins t r u c t o r . In addition to counselling i n d i v i d u a l c l i e n t s , the coun s e l l o r s - i n - t r a i n i n g designed and ran several day-long group workshops, during the year, on the topic of "Women's Self-Esteem." Aside from the obvious "convenience" aspects of choosing student respondents, t h i s s e t t i n g was a t t r a c t i v e for several other reasons. F i r s t , i t provided, i n i t s setup, numerous opportunities for i n t e r a c t i o n among the i n d i v i d u a l team members. Being both a work group and a t r a i n i n g group (supervised, i n part, by a Doctoral student who, l i k e the rest of the group, was supervised by the in s t r u c t o r ) , i t seemed reasonable to assume that opportunities would ar i s e , throughout the year, for various members of the group to experience, i n some way, power dynamics. Also, the selected s e t t i n g provided the opportunity to assess the experience of women who had, for the most part, chosen to work i n an all-women s e t t i n g and to focus on working primarily with women 47 once they completed t h e i r t r a i n i n g . F i n a l l y , as noted above, a l l of the c o u n s e l l o r s - i n - t r a i n i n g , as well as the supervising i n s t r u c t o r , s e l f - i d e n t i f i e d as feminists, and accepted feminist norms around valuing and supporting other women. Thus, the s e t t i n g provided access to an all-woman work group comprised of members who, because of t h e i r i nterests and perspectives, as well as because of t h e i r dual status as students and counsellors, would be sympathetic to and interested i n the research aims involved and thus be w i l l i n g p a r t i c i p a n t s i n t h i s study. The s e t t i n g was described by group members from two perspectives. The f i r s t involves a r e l a t i v e l y factual account of the scheduled and ordered events of a c l i n i c day; t h i s , l i k e the factual information about c l i n i c presented at the beginning of t h i s section, i s a f i r s t - o r d e r perspective, involving 11 statements-about-real i t y " (Marton, 1981, p. 188). The second-order perspective deals, not with a commonly agreed-upon, v e r i f i a b l e r e a l i t y , but with i n d i v i d u a l team members' sense of t h e i r personal r e l a t i o n s with that s e t t i n g — t h e i r "perceived" r e a l i t y (Marton, 1981) . F i r s t - o r d e r information on "how" the c l i n i c team operated was c o l l e c t e d from the supervisors, during interviews, and was corroborated by c l i n i c team members. The c l i n i c day o f f i c i a l l y begins at nine a.m. with the entire group coming together i n the large meeting room to get the "administrivia" out of the way. This t y p i c a l l y involves dealing with scheduling issues ( i . e . new c l i e n t s ; which counsellors are working with which c l i e n t s ; appointment times; assigning viewing rooms e t c . ) . The group then 48 deals with unfinished business from the week before as well as with concerns that individuals may have around any aspect of t h e i r work with c l i e n t s . This part of the hour usually provides opportunities f o r the sharing of information among team members. The team i n s t r u c t o r commented that she teaches, during t h i s hour, i n response to concerns and needs which are expressed by the c o u n s e l l o r s - i n - t r a i n i n g , or i n response to issues which may have arisen the previous week. From ten o'clock u n t i l three o'clock, the counsellors work with c l i e n t s . During t h i s time, the supervisor and supervisor-in-training watch sessions from the viewing rooms (trading o f f so that, i d e a l l y , each i s able to view at l e a s t a portion of each counsellor's sessions). These sessions are also video taped and audio taped, so that the c o u n s e l l o r - i n - t r a i n i n g (and the supervisors, at times) can review s p e c i f i c sessions as part of the t r a i n i n g / l e a r n i n g process. When counsellors are not booked to work with c l i e n t s , they, too, observe sessions from the viewing rooms and make notes of t h e i r observations and/or suggestions, which are l a t e r shared with the working counsellor i n the form of written or verbal feedback. Ideally, feedback i s given by the supervisor and supervisor-in-t r a i n i n g immediately a f t e r the session i n question, but, often, time r e s t r a i n t s prevent t h i s . At three o'clock, the team comes together again, i n the large meeting room and focuses on feedback and, again, counsellor concerns. During our conversations together, I i n v i t e d each respondent to orient me to her c l i n i c g r o u p — i n p a r t i c u l a r , by t a l k i n g about "whatever stands out for you" about the group, as well as by 49 describing her sense of her own " r o l e " within the group. My questionning, i n t h i s area, was purposefully vague (and I often described i t to the part i c i p a n t s t h i s way) i n order to allow the respondent maximum freedom to focus on what was important to her. Thus I used phrasing l i k e : "anything that's r e a l l y important to you about the c l i n i c group" or, "What's the sort of thing that would come into the foreground, f i r s t , about that p a r t i c u l a r group, f o r you?" or, "What stands out for you about the group?" or, "Whatever...your gut reaction would be when I say, 'Well, what's t h i s group l i k e for you?" I t i s primarily from responses to questions l i k e these that the following descriptions of p a r t i c i p a n t s ' conceptions of the group i t s e l f were drawn. Three themes emerged from conversations with p a r t i c i p a n t s : group cohesiveness; the e f f e c t s of intra-group differences; and safety/support within the group. Conceptions within these themes are presented below. As noted above, conceptions are not mutually exclusive; group members may hold more than one, sometimes even c o n f l i c t i n g , conception around a p a r t i c u l a r theme. Members' Conceptions of Group Cohesiveness This section describes team members' conceptions of group cohesiveness. Participants referred to cohesiveness i n terms of t h e i r sense of i t s presence or absence i n the group. Two dichotomous conceptions were revealed: Conception 1: The Women's C l i n i c Team i s a cohesive group. Conception 2: The Women's C l i n i c Team lacks group cohesiveness. In holding conception 1, women expressed t h e i r sense that 50 the group was united; they experienced i t as a unit,and saw themselves as part of that. These group members described a f e e l i n g of closeness between group members—a "belonging" which was often expressed i n a sense of common purpose or ease i n working together. D expressed, " I t ' s l i k e a very benevolent family to me" (D-10). H says, "We f e e l very, very close, and we f e e l we've bonded, or that there i s a mutual understanding and respect f o r each other" (H-6). E describes her feelings about t h i s as, "I have r e a l l y loved being i n t h i s c l i n i c because I do l i k e that f e e l i n g of connecting with other women i n a common theme...I mean they're t r y i n g to do the same thing" (E-16). Women who held conception 2, saw the group as lacking i n cohesiveness and f e l t themselves somewhat distanced or alienated from the rest of the group. These parti c i p a n t s describe the group as a c o l l e c t i o n of unrelated i n d i v i d u a l s . G comments, "It ' s funny, because I don't necessarily see i t as a close-knit group...like..I see i t as people that are o f f i n t h e i r own l i t t l e worlds" (G-14). F says, "I would say the stage that i t ' s i n , r i g h t now i s b a s i c a l l y not one of cohesiveness..but..rather...one of i n d i v i d u a l s within a group" (F-12). Members' Conceptions of the Ef f e c t s of Intra-Group Differences The second theme about the group which surfaced i n conversations with the partic i p a n t s concerned t h e i r conceptions about the e f f e c t s of in d i v i d u a l differences within the group. This theme involved an acknowledgement of v a r i a t i o n within the group and viewed that as being either complementary or 51 contradictory. Differences viewed as complementary were seen as being additive to group process; those viewed as contradictory were seen as detracting. Two conceptions related to t h i s theme: Conception 1: Individual differences within the group are complementary. Conception 2: Individual differences within the group are contradictory. Each of these conceptions was focused on from two d i f f e r e n t perspectives: (a) differences between the supervisor/instructor and the doctoral supervisor-in-training or, (b) differences between group members i n general. In holding conception l a , participants described perceived differences between the supervisor/instructor (S.) and the Doctoral supervisor-in-training (ST.) as being complementary and b e n e f i c i a l to the group as a whole. Thus, ST., i n discussing her rel a t i o n s h i p with S., says, "We come from d i f f e r e n t theories..not (different) philosophy..in that we are both r e a l l y very client-centred... But I follow psychodynamic theory, and she's pure client-centred. But i t never got i n the way..it just added" (C-4). From S.'s point of view: We complement each other because of our perspectives, so that we're neither one retreads of the other, you know..So the students are a c t u a l l y . . i t 1 s additive learning...not r e p e t i t i v e . . . I learn from her, and she learns from me, and i t ' s fun! I t ' s r e a l l y fun being t h e r e . . i t ' s an aspect of the work that gives me pleasure. (B-9) Another group member, E, describes the re l a t i o n s h i p between these two: I have learned a l o t from S. And not only have I learned from S, but...I'm r e a l l y glad that ST's been there..too. S. tends to be pervasive i n her influence...and ST. brings i n 52 s p e c i f i c things which I r e a l l y appreciate. So, I think..uh..actually, the combination has been t e r r i f i c ! And they work together well. (E-12,13) The group members holding conception l b focused on differences within the group i n general, and saw those as being complementary or additive. G says: I believe that we have to work with difference, and that we have to make a d i f f e r e n c e . . i n any small way we can. I think t h a t . . . l i k e I said..even i f they can pick something up from me..that they wouldn't necessarily get from....and v i c e versa..that I can pick something up from them and the way they see the world....We1 re a l l students together, learning d i f f e r e n t ways. (G-26) The student holding conception 2a views the re l a t i o n s h i p between the supervisors as being not complimentary. Her experience of t h e i r differences i s that i t impacts negatively on the group, rather than f a c i l i t a t i n g group or i n d i v i d u a l learning. F comments: At times, my own experience i s seeing t h e i r evaluations of my performance as being quite d i f f e r e n t from one another...My sense i s that she (ST) fe e l s she must buffer what input she provides..or at least provide i t i n such a way that i t i s n ' t g l a r i n g l y i n opposition to that which has been provided by the supervisor..So oftentimes..I f e l t stuck i n the middle. (F-16) The student holding conception 2b views differences i n student perceptions as being uncomplimentary and nonproductive. She states: I r e a l i z e that's something that r e a l l y bothers me about the whole thing..I f e e l that there's that big difference and, I mean...you ju s t know when someone's on a d i f f e r e n t wavelength...And so..uh..the way I deal with i t . . i s I just don't get involved with i t . (G-19) 53 Members' Conceptions of the Group as a Safe Environment This section discusses group members' experience of the c l i n i c group as a safe environment. Safety was described i n terms of i t s presence or absence, i n these conceptions. The two conceptions, around t h i s theme, which emerged from the data were: Conception 1: The c l i n i c group i s a safe environment. Conception 2: The c l i n i c group i s an unsafe environment. In expressions of conception 1, group members expressed f e e l i n g safe, comfortable, or relaxed within the group. In conception 2, the experience expressed i s related to f e e l i n g unsafe, a f r a i d or nervous. Within each of these conceptions were found d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s of inte r p r e t a t i o n corresponding to p a r t i c i p a n t s ' s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t perspectives on the same conception: (a) the source of safety or lack of safety i s seen i n the supervisor(s), or (b) safety has i t s source i n the t o t a l group i t s e l f . (There i s no expression of lack of safety within the group having i t s source i n the group i t s e l f . ) These two conceptions, with t h e i r corresponding l e v e l s , are an attempt to portray the range of experience expressed by group members around the theme of the group as a safe place, but cannot be seen as exhaustive of the possible range of conceptions which could be conceived to occupy the outcome space. Conception l a expresses a view of the c l i n i c group as a safe environment and sees that safety as being provided or f a c i l i t a t e d by the supervisor(s). B says, "I think, i n general, they see i t as a safe place to grow. They're w i l l i n g to take r i s k s , and they know they w i l l get feedback, (from the supervisors) but they 54 won't get clobbered" (B-8). Another group member comments: The benefits of her s t y l e of supervision quickly outweighed everything else, because a l l of a sudden you were i n a safe environment and there weren't any power games going on...and you could grow! And so..when I knew she was doing the c l i n i c t h i s year..that's where I wanted to be..cause I knew that she would t r e a t me with such respect that I would be able to...spread my wings....and learn. (C-l) Conception l b involves an experience of the group as a safe place and locates the source of t h i s safety within the group as a whole. C expresses t h i s conception i n saying, "But there was always the hand on the shoulder..or the squeeze, or the hug...just to l e t you know that there was an anchor there, and a safe place to come back to" (C-12). Conception 2a focuses on the group as an unsafe place, and t h i s expression of the conception locates the r e s u l t i n g danger i n the supervisor's control i n terms of evaluation. The participant who expressed t h i s conception said, "Because of our positions of being—we are going to be evaluated—I..personally..am f e a r f u l of speaking out too loudly about what i s disappointing to me" (F-14) . 2. Data c o l l e c t i o n technique For t h i s study, data c o l l e c t i o n was accomplished through the use of: (a) a pre-interview questionnaire to c o l l e c t demographic and personal information; (b) a post-interview questionnaire, administered several weeks a f t e r the main interviews i n order to give p a r t i c i p a n t s a vehicle for feedback concerning t h e i r experience of the process; and (c) through in-depth focused interviews with each respondent. Since interviews were the 55 primary data c o l l e c t i o n technique used i n t h i s study, I w i l l concentrate, i n what follows, on describing, f i r s t , the epistemological foundations of t h i s portion of the methodology and, second, the actual interviewing process. The hermeneutic encounter In Chapter II we situated the research technique of t h i s study within the q u a l i t a t i v e paradigm. Quite obviously, even within t h i s , there e x i s t d i f f e r e n t sources of information through which we could come to an understanding of people's experience of aspects of t h e i r world. These include behavioural observation, s t o r i e s , drawings or other creations of respondents, case studies and interviews. The interview, however, i s acknowledged as the primary method of phenomenographic data c o l l e c t i o n (Marton, 1986). For me, the movement from a t r a d i t i o n a l research focus, perspective and technique to a reframed approach, i n seeking to answer my research question, i s personally situated within a commitment to what Mishler (1986) c a l l s "humane values" and, i n pa r t i c u l a r , i n my case, to feminist values i n working with women. Thus a standard approach to interviewing would neither f i t with the reframed research paradigm described i n Chapter I I , nor with my own wish to work with women i n a way that validates t h e i r experiences and respects t h e i r r i g h t to t e l l t h e i r own s t o r i e s . T r a d i t i o n a l interview techniques i n psychology are rooted i n the natural science approach to psychology, already discussed, and the resultant search for causal explanation, p r e d i c t i o n and 56 c o n t r o l . In t h i s t r a d i t i o n , the interview as a stimulus-response s i t u a t i o n attempts to standardize both the questions asked and the interviewer's behaviour and also ignores the respondent's personal contexts of meaning (Mishler, 1986). This study, on the other hand, approaches the interview as discourse, as conversation between speakers, with an acknowledgement that "the meanings of questions and responses are contextually grounded and j o i n t l y constructed by interviewer and respondent" (Ibid, p. 34). This approach, which i s consistent with hermeneutics, s a t i s f i e s the r e l a t i o n a l perspective of phenomenography, as well as the s o c i a l / p o l i t i c a l p o s i t i o n of feminist c r i t i c s of t r a d i t i o n a l methodology, who see the attempt to maintain o b j e c t i v i t y , detachment and the h i e r a r c h i c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p between interviewer and respondent as, not only an impossible aim, but also as "morally indefensible" (Oakley, 1981 p. 41). Palmer (1969), i n giving words to Gadamer's v i s i o n of hermeneutics an an exploration of the nature of understanding, catches the essence of the task of the interviewer: One i s not so much a knower as an experiencer; the encounter i s not a conceptual grasping of something but an event i n which a world opens i t s e l f up to one. Insofar as each interpreter stands i n a new horizon, the event that comes to language i n the hermeneutical experience i s something new that emerges, something that did not e x i s t before. In t h i s event, grounded i n l i n g u i s t i c a l i t y and made possible by the d i a l e c t i c a l encounter with the meaning of the transmitted text, the hermeneutical experience finds i t s f u l f i l l m e n t , (p. 209) 57 The conversations The question of how women experience power i n t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p s within an all-woman work group was explored through interview as discourse—through what we might c a l l hermeneutic encounters or speech events which acknowledged the mutual shaping of meaning. I t seems appropriate here to speak of these as conversations. Five of these conversations were held i n my home and three i n the respondents 1 homes; the setting, i n each case, was based on what seemed, to the respondent, most convenient and comfortable for her. The beginning of our time together, although i t varied with i n d i v i d u a l p a r t i c i p a n t s usually involved some sharing of h o s p i t a l i t y (often a cup of tea or coffee) and informal dialogue. This occurred i n an easy, natural way, and allowed us to e a s i l y e s t a b l i s h a comfortable connection together as well as some consensus around the context of our meeting. During t h i s time, we discussed issues around c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y , I answered questions or addressed concerns that individuals expressed, and a "Consent to P a r t i c i p a t e " form was completed (see Appendix A). I also stated my in t e r e s t i n understanding how they, as indi v i d u a l s , experienced power, and assured them that I was not interested i n any p a r t i c u l a r " d e f i n i t i o n " of power. Participants knew that I shared with them the experience of being a graduate student, and a cou n s e l l o r - i n - t r a i n i n g who had also p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the Women's C l i n i c Team ( a l b e i t several years p r i o r to t h e i r own experience). They also knew that we shared the experience of being feminist women i n the world, which 58 implies a common language. This awareness of sharing, to whatever degree, a common language ( r e f l e c t i v e of a common person/world relationship) created a sense of ease and t r u s t which f a c i l i t a t e d our conversations together. I was also aware that i t could seduce me into b e l i e v i n g that I "knew" what these women meant rather than r i s k i n g an attitude of not-knowing and engaging myself openly i n the d i a l e c t i c a l process of understanding i n a way which would i n v i t e transformation i n myself (Palmer, 1969; Titelman, 1979). One way that I dealt with t h i s was to inform the partic i p a n t s that I would take, at times, the stance of "not understanding," i n our conversations, and ask for concrete examples and c l a r i f i c a t i o n so that I might guard against assuming knowledge and work towards t r u l y revealing her personal experience. Discussing t h i s openly with the par t i c i p a n t was also important i n that i t anticipated and cicumvented the p o s s i b i l i t y of i r r i t a t i o n or weakened t r u s t which may have resulted from repeated questionning of the "obvious" which, without explanation, may have l e f t her f e e l i n g t r u l y "not understood." This decision to discuss with the par t i c i p a n t s my desire to t r u l y understand t h e i r experience, as opposed to assuming that my understanding was t h e i r s or attempting to " f i t " t h e i r conceptions into an already-existing structure, came out of feedback from two e a r l i e r p i l o t interviews. These were also important i n that they provided an opportunity for me to gauge the "richness" of data which I might expect, i n r e l a t i o n to interview time-frames; allowed me "practice" i n actually bringing my own experience into 59 contact with other women's l i v e d experiences of power; and gave me a sense, not only of the relevance of my questionning, but also of d i f f e r e n t "paths" to meaning which may or may not be f a c i l i t a t i v e to a p a r t i c u l a r i n d i v i d u a l . These p i l o t conversations nurtured, i n me, a greater awareness of the process of interview as di a l o g u e — a s hermeneutic encounter. The "formal" portion of each conversation began with the question, "Could you t e l l me about how you got yourself into t h i s p a r t i c u l a r c l i n i c group (as opposed to some other c l i n i c ) ? " This i n i t i a l part of the interview continued by focusing on the part i c i p a n t ' s view of her c l i n i c group and her sense of her re l a t i o n s with/within that group. Although each conversation branched o f f on i t s own unique way, the t e r r i t o r y explored was common and included: -the s i g n i f i c a n c e , for the participant, of being involved i n Women's C l i n i c . -when t h i s involved a commitment to work primarily with women, i n the world, the basis of t h i s commitment was explored. -whatever stood out, f o r the participant, about the group. -experience of f i t t i n g i n , belonging, r o l e . Discussion of these issues oriented me, as an outsider, to the part i c i p a n t ' s experience of the group as a whole, and her rela t i o n s h i p s within/to that group. I t also served as a way of contextually grounding the basic question of the ind i v i d u a l ' s conceptions of power within the group. When the discussion of the group as context f e l t complete, 60 we moved into an exploration of the partic i p a n t ' s experience of power within the group. In each case, I began t h i s process by asking the p a r t i c i p a n t to focus on the group and to think of a time when something happened that, at the time, or i n retrospect, she recognized as involving the operation of power. " I t ' s l i k e something happened, and you're t e l l i n g me the story of that. And the story i s about one person or more than one person i n your group, and power." Each conversation included several recountings of such experience, and each recounting involved discussion of the following issues: -description of power as the pa r t i c i p a n t saw i t operating i n that instance. -source of power. - e f f e c t of power (on the i n d i d i v i d u a l ; on others; on the group). I made the decision to approach power i n t h i s way i n an attempt to make the questionning around t h i s issue as open-ended as possible. Obviously the s p e c i f i c focusing (ex. "What was the source of that power?") represents, to some degree, my own pre-understanding of power or, at least, of possible s i g n i f i c a n t aspects (or perspectives) of power. While acknowledging t h i s , however, I wanted to leave as much room as possible for the pa r t i c i p a n t s ' unique experiences and conceptions to emerge. To use the map analogy again, I saw our task together being the exploration of the t e r r a i n of power and my r o l e that of keeping us on the map. Within that, however, I wanted the p a r t i c i p a n t to f e e l free to choose the paths, and areas that were pertinent to 61 her. I concluded the discussion of each instance by i n v i t i n g the pa r t i c i p a n t to give the p a r t i c u l a r story she had ju s t recounted a moral. A f t e r we had explored several instances of power operating i n the group, I asked her to share any ideas (overarching p r i n c i p l e s , generalizations) that she might take from her experience with power, here, to other si t u a t i o n s where she would be working with women. I also asked her to brainstorm synonyms and antonyms for power (See Appendix E). Each interview was concluded by i n v i t i n g the pa r t i c i p a n t to comment, express concerns, or ask questions that she might s t i l l have. Informal endings t y p i c a l l y involved some b r i e f discussion of common i n t e r e s t s — g e n e r a l l y around work (counselling) or academic issues. As might be expected i n conversations around s o c i a l phenomena, there was a tendency for indivi d u a l s to speak i n abstract and generalized terms, or to assume that we didn't have to a r t i c u l a t e c e r t a i n issues because we both "understood" those. My task, as questionner, was to focus the d i r e c t i o n a l i t y of conversations, and to move the dialogue from generalization to s p e c i f i c i t y . I found that my t r a i n i n g , as a counsellor, i n active l i s t e n i n g was invaluable i n that I had, already at hand, the s k i l l s with which to focus and deepen the pa r t i c i p a n t ' s descriptions of her experience. The conversations were tape recorded and l a t e r transcribed i n t h e i r e n t i r e t y . Raw data were thus f u l l y recorded and archived and are available for c r e d i b i l i t y checks. Although t h i s 62 approach may seem "common-sense", i t i s often omitted i n standard interview research practice. Selections from t r a n s c r i p t s , quoted i n the next chapter, t e s t i f y to the openness of these conversations. The women involved risked revealing t h e i r personal worlds—sometimes, even as they struggled to discover these through a r t i c u l a t i o n of t h e i r experience. My own sense of the interviews i s that of harmoniousness and a shared rhythm throughout each conversation, of two people enjoying t h e i r shared dialogue. I was also aware of power issues which might operate within the interviews themselves. In opting for interviewing techniques informed by alternate perspectives, I chose, i n Mishler's (1986) words to: s h i f t attention away from the in v e s t i g a t o r s 1 'problems, 1 such as technical issues of r e l i a b i l i t y and v a l i d i t y , to respondents' problems, s p e c i f i c a l l y , t h e i r e f f o r t s to construct coherent and reasonable worlds of meaning and to make sense of t h e i r experiences...to f i n d ways to empower respondents so that they have more control of the processes through which t h e i r words are given meaning...and to encourage them to fi n d and speak i n t h e i r own voices, (p.118) One way that I checked the ef f e c t s of my e f f o r t s i n t h i s d i r e c t i o n was through the Post-Interview Questionnaire (see Appendix C), which respondents f i l l e d i n and returned to me, anonymously, several weeks a f t e r the interview. This was an opportunity for the women, a f t e r some time for consideration, to comment again on the process and i t s e f f e c t s on them. What follows are representative comments: I found i t e x c i t i n g to discuss my experiences of how I conceptualize power with you. I had never been asked such a question before nor had such an uninterrupted opportunity to explore my thoughts and feelings about t h i s subject. As a 63 r e s u l t of my discussion with you, even as I was t a l k i n g with you, I came to understand more of what I a c t u a l l y believe about power among and between women, and how i t operates. I t seemed that the more I had the opportunity to discuss these issues with you, the more i t led from one idea to another. I am very glad to have had t h i s opportunity....how easy you made i t to t a l k about power. I t was a t o t a l delight for me to discuss my experiences with you. I t stimulated my thinking about women and power— looking further for d e f i n i t i o n s and for my personal view of power. I shared some of these thoughts with members of my group. I was comfortable discussing my experiences with you, even though, i n i t i a l l y , I wasn't sure where our discussion would lead me to. Things started to f a l l into place for me as we were t a l k i n g — i . e . power, and v a l i d a t i o n from peers, and how powerful that i s i n v a l i d a t i n g us as in d i v i d u a l s , and what that does to our sense of s e l f worth. I was very comfortable d i s c l o s i n g to y o u — f e l t the atmosphere to be non-evaluative. Personally, i t was empowering to be able to t a l k about my own philosophy of power. The experience of putting ideas into words s o l i d i f i e d much of my thinking. Your questions raised a number of concerns i n me—heightened my awareness. The experience was ill u m i n a t i n g . Our conversation had a great impact on me, even as I was discussing these issues with you. I processed my experience for several days a f t e r and s t i l l r e f e r back to i t often. The opportunity to c l a r i f y some aspects of t h i s concept and to open up to other ways of looking at power was very stimulating. I would see i t as a consciousness-raising experience. Personally, I was energized by the interview as I heard myself voice some b e l i e f s about myself that were, up u n t i l then, more vague. The experience made me f e e l more comfortable with myself i n some ways. I would recommend the experience as a v a l i d a t i n g experience; i t helps to generate new ideas, new ways of looking at yourself, and also forces you to put abstract feelings into words, which then allows you to act or think d i f f e r e n t l y about them. Generally, t h i s experience heightened my awareness of power i n groups of women, and I am glad of the experience for t h i s reason alone. 64 This would be a wonderful way of beginning a women's group— a discussion, l i k e t h i s , of power. In the hermeneutic encounter, or i n what Mishler (1986) c a l l s "interviewing as a form of discourse between speakers" (p.7), language i s at the very heart of expression and understanding. Thus there i s often a coming to know, or bringing to consciousness, through words—through speaking and l i s t e n i n g — for both the interviewer and the respondent. For the respondent, t h i s process sometimes involves moving from unawareness to awareness. This bringing to consciousness through the expression of one's person/world rel a t i o n s h i p can happen through immediate expression, or through r e f l e c t i o n a f t e r the conversations and was well expressed i n some of the quotations above. The process of gaining insight or conscious knowing was f e l t i n some instances, as "energizing" or "v a l i d a t i n g , " and i n others as "disturbing." One woman, for example, commented: I was not aware of how uncomfortable I am with the word "power" since I see power abused so much i n c l i e n t s ' l i v e s and i n relationships, including my own....I also f e l t chagrined, to some extent, about t a l k i n g about the l e v e l s of "powerfulness" which I had described i n the group, i . e . that I had seen some members as more powerful than others... I see myself as a woman being connected to other women i n a non-competitive, cooperative way, and then finding myself thinking i n terms of hierarchies was disturbing...I w i l l now be aware of t h i s and explore these concepts as I become involved with women•s groups more and more. At another point i n her Post-Interview Questionnaire, t h i s same pa r t i c i p a n t said: I found that i t challenged my ideas about power i n groups of women, i . e . that I did not think that there was such a thing (as power i n women's groups)...so when I found myself thinking exactly t h i s way, i t was disturbing, but useful to me. I w i l l now be aware of t h i s and explore these concepts as I become involved with women's groups more and more. This 65 i s of spe c i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e to me, since my research w i l l be done i n a woman's group. In attempting to come to t h i s process with respect for the par t i c i p a n t s and an honest wish to empower them through our meeting, i t was important for me to be se n s i t i v e to what I did with both process and content. The Post-Interview Questionnaire, from which the above quotes were taken, provided feedback about p a r t i c i p a n t s ' experience of the process. In terms of content, whenever possible, I shared with each woman how I "interpreted" and how I planned to use her voiced experience. However, the reactions of one par t i c i p a n t are d i f f e r e n t from the others• reactions and deserve some comment. During the interview, F, l i k e the others, immersed herself deeply i n the conversation. Afterwards, r e f l e c t i n g on the experience, she was a l i t t l e surprised and frightened at the extent to which she f e l t she had revealed her experiences. This, for her, triggered concerns about c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y and a "personal fear of repercussions" as well as some concern about the "actual purpose" of the study. Although these issues had been dealt with i n our i n i t i a l meeting and also at the time of our interview, we discussed them again, and I attempted to assure her that my research aims were, indeed, what I had stated them to be, and that I would t r e a t her disclosures with respect and s e n s i t i v i t y . I also r e i t e r a t e d her entitlement to veto the use of any material provided by her, i n either paraphrased or verbatim form. As i t turned out, when F was able to read the portions of her t r a n s c r i p t which I chose to include i n my work, she saw i t not 66 only as accurate i n terms of her conceptions, but also as "safe" i n terms of protecting her from i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . In reading her t r a n s c r i p t , t h i s woman was able to r e f l e c t upon the period of her l i f e which i t represented for her—one that she saw as "a very d i f f i c u l t time," but which, i n perspective, no longer seemed threatening. In coming to terms with t h i s , i t also seemed easy for her to l e t go of fears she had f e l t around the v u l n e r a b i l i t y of expressing herself during the i n i t i a l interview. This incident i l l u s t r a t e s interview as discourse on several l e v e l s . F experienced a coming to awareness, on a number of issues, which was, i n her case, painf u l i n some ways and which she had seen as posing a great r i s k to her. Her concern about t h i s i s also a reminder that our reframed interview approach has to do with people, not with "objects" (or "subjects") who could be used for research purposes and disregarded i n terms of t h e i r own needs. Accordingly, F*s concerns were taken seriously, and i f a f t e r reading the fi n i s h e d " s c r i p t " she had f e l t threatened, the text would have been changed accordingly. In a study of t h i s nature, the p a r t i c i p a n t ' s needs r e a l l y must come f i r s t , and research aims cannot be seen as more important than an authentic resect for the p a r t i c i p a n t s involved. At our post-interview meeting I described the data analysis process to her; explained the outcome space; detailed, theme by theme, how her input had influenced and f i t into i t ; and i n v i t e d her to bring to my attention, any discrepencies between my i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of her core meanings and her intent. This meeting also served as an opportunity for her to ask further questions, now that the 67 research task was v i r t u a l l y complete. C. Data Analysis "Taking speech seriously" (Mishler, 1986, p. 47) i s a cornerstone of methodology h e r e — p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y , and i n terms of technique. I t begins, as discussed above, with approaching the interview as jointly-constructed dialogue, and continues with what Marton (1989) describes as the in t e r p r e t a t i v e , or hermeneutic, analysis of data. Titelman (1979) captures the importance of t h i s focus i n commenting that, "insofar as (we) seek to elucidate the meaning of experience and behaviour as i t i s l i v e d i n the everyday world, language as discourse...is the f i e l d i n which s i g n i f i c a t i o n emerges" (p. 182). In the i n t e r e s t s , then, both of "taking language seriously," and of creating some r e l i a b i l i t y i n the study, i n the sense of leaving a record of "process" and f i x i n g data so that i t could be examined and re-examined i n a s t a b i l i z e d form, over time, I taped each interview, and then, as the f i r s t step of analysis, transcribed each i n i t s ent i r e t y . This could be seen as one aspect of designing for consistency by what Guba (1981) c a l l s e s t a b l i s h i n g an "audit t r a i t . " Mishler (1986) cautions the researcher, i n transcribing, "to pay close attention to l i n g u i s t i c and p a r a l i n g u i s t i c features that appear i n naturally occurring t a l k but are routinely omitted from standard written texts" (p.47). Accordingly, i n t r a n s c r i b i n g my conversations with respondents, I have included, i n the t r a n s c r i p t s , d e t a i l s of 68 speech such as pauses, nonlexical expressions, laughter, obvious changes i n p i t c h or volume, stressed words or phrases, and speaker interruptions or overlaps (see Appendix D for Typescript Notation System). Although t h i s procedure was time-consuming, I saw i t as part of the necessary task of creating the conditions for v a l i d analysis and interpretation of the interview data. This process had the added advantage of requiring me to immerse myself i n the data; through careful l i s t e n i n g and r e - l i s t e n i n g during the t r a n s c r i p t i o n process, I began to become f a m i l i a r with the worlds of my respondents, as they had expressed them i n these conversations. In addition, t h i s care i n t r a n s c r i p t i o n has resulted i n data texts which r e f l e c t some tone or qual i t y of the individual(s) i n dialogue; there i s much more of a "human" qua l i t y here than i n a standard interview t r a n s c r i p t . The repeated l i s t e n i n g s to the interviews, necessary i n t h i s type of t r a n s c r i p t i o n process, also resulted i n constant revisions i n the tr a n s c r i p t s , some of which led to s i g n i f i c a n t changes i n meaning. As with other aspects of the research process, there e x i s t s some question about when the task i s completed. For me, a sense of "completion for now" arose out of three considerations: f i r s t , a judgment on my part that I had achieved a l e v e l of d e t a i l equal to the demands of my study aims; second, a knowledge that my data analysis technique would move me back and forth between tr a n s c r i p t i o n s and taped coversations and thus allow ongoing checks, i n t h i s regard; and t h i r d , p r a c t i c a l considerations involving time and energy constraints. A phenomenographic approach to data analysis, l i k e the 69 interview procedure i t s e l f , i s consistent with hermeneutic process. "The analysis has to be of an i t e r a t i v e and genuinely in t e r p r e t a t i v e nature, guided by what we may c a l l "the hermeneutics of phenomenography" (Beaty, Dall'Alba & Marton, i n press,). I t involved, as mentionned above, a constant movement, back and forth, between the audiotaped and transcribed versions of the data i n order to assess the adequacy of t r a n s c r i p t i o n and then of interpretation; i t involved, too, movement "between the data and emergent categories of meaning, which ultimately resulted i n conceptions" (Pratt, 1990, p. 6 ) — i n t h i s case, conceptions of power. The second step of data analysis here involved reviewing t r a n s c r i p t s and tapes i n order to determine "units of meaning." In t h i s study, units of meaning refers to quoted text which represents some aspect of the respondents* understanding of the phenomenon of power, as they experienced i t operating i n t h e i r group context. For the most part, these units of meaning were contextually grounded, i n that my interpretations around t h e i r meaning were made i n rela t i o n s h i p to t h e i r place i n the t o t a l conversation. Following the example of Carriere, MacKey and McLardy (1990), I found i t useful to "tag" these units of meaning, as I pulled them out of the text, by noting the aspect of power addressed by that unit. This l e v e l of analysis involved attention to both r e f e r e n t i a l and s t r u c t u r a l aspects of meaning (Beaty et a l , i n press) which correspond to Theman's (1983) noematic and noetic aspects of meaning. Referential or noematic aspects of meaning r e f e r to the global meaning of the concept— 70 the "what" of an individual's understanding. In t h i s case, the eight interviews yielded a t o t a l of 241 units of meaning which a r t i c u l a t e d r e f e r e n t i a l (or noematic) aspects of conceptions. The s t r u c t u r a l or noetic aspects r e f e r to the "how" and "why" parts of understanding—the perspective or figure/ground focus of the indiv i d u a l ' s understanding. In t o t a l , 152 units of meaning embodied only s t r u c t u r a l aspects of meaning (in some cases, s t r u c t u r a l aspects of meaning were also included i n the units tagged as r e f e r e n t i a l ) . The stru c t u r a l / n o e t i c and referential/noematic aspects of a conception are d i a l e c t i c a l l y r elated and can only be separated t h e o r e t i c a l l y ; i n r e a l i t y they cannot be understood apart from one another. One of the anomalies of researching conceptions of a complex s o c i a l phenomenon such as power arises out of t h i s interwining of s t r u c t u r a l / r e f e r e n t i a l aspects of the conception. At times, what appeared to be a cl e a r statement of r e f e r e n t i a l meaning—ex. "Power i s having respect,"—turned out, a f t e r investigation, to be a statement of one of the st r u c t u r a l aspects of the phenomenon. In reference to the whole t r a n s c r i p t , for example, the example j u s t quoted referred to the noetic or s t r u c t u r a l aspect of source of power, while the respondent a c t u a l l y saw the r e f e r e n t i a l aspect as "influence". Thus the same description of power could, at d i f f e r e n t times, re f e r to eithe r s t r u c t u r a l / n o e t i c or referential/noematic aspects of power. Because of the complexity inherent here, as part of t h i s l e v e l of analysis, units of meaning were checked with the parti c i p a n t , when necessary, to ensure that I had not misunderstood her words. 71 The t h i r d l e v e l of analysis involved pooling the units of meaning. At t h i s stage, the units of meaning were decontextualized from the actual speech events of which they were a part, and from t h e i r speakers, and my i n t e r e s t s h i f t e d to the meanings embedded i n the quotes themselves. "The boundaries between ind i v i d u a l s were thus abandoned and i n t e r e s t was focused on the "pool of meanings" ((Marton & Saljo, 1984, p.39). This step was accomplished with the p r i o r assumption that individuals may hold varying, even c o n f l i c t i n g , conceptions of the same phenomenon, and the emphasis was on finding a l l the v a r i a t i o n s of understanding expressed for each concept. At t h i s point, the focus turned to discovering a pattern of s i m i l a r i t i e s and differences i n meaning, and making a decision about the s p e c i f i c l e v e l at which the quotes should be seen i n r e l a t i o n to one another. At times, even during the part of the process, I found i t necessary to return to the t r a n s c r i p t s to ensure the accuracy of my understanding of a p a r t i c u l a r unit of meaning. The end r e s u l t of the process here was the discovery of a set of s i x d i s t i n c t categories of meaning, depicting the q u a l i t a t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t ways i n which the participants i n t h i s study understood the phenomenon of power, as they experienced i t s operation i n t h e i r group. This set of categories, along with the n o e t i c / s t r u c t u r a l aspects associated with each category, i s the outcome space. Pratt (1990) posits, as a f i n a l v a l i d i t y t e s t for the emergent or "discovered" categories, that each of the o r i g i n a l units of meaning must l o g i c a l l y f i t within a conceptual category. 72 In t h i s study, the s t a b i l i t y and q u a l i t a t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t nature of each category of description, or conception, was established through two independent judge r e l i a b i l i t y t e s t s using, as judges, two graduate students who were serious about and s e n s i t i v e to the task (Stalker, 1989). The judges were given descriptions of each conception and asked to place the o r i g i n a l units of meaning within these conceptions, as described by the researcher. There was 96-97% f i n a l agreement between my placement, as researcher, of units of meaning within the categories and the judges' placement of these. A detailed table of the judges' agreement and disagreement i s included i n Appendix F. 73 IV. RESULTS This chapter presents the findings of t h i s research, the conceptions of power derived from the women who pa r t i c i p a t e d i n t h i s study. I t begins with a description of the respondents' conceptions of power, as they experienced i t s operation i n the all-women t r a i n i n g group which was the context for t h i s exploration. Marton (1981) distinguishes between conceptions and categories of meaning. Conceptions r e f e r to the actual experienced and/or conceptualized r e a l i t y of the indi v i d u a l s concerned, whereas categories of meaning are "simply abstract tool s used to characterize the conceptions. They represent an attempt to formalize the researcher's understanding of the conceptions" (Beaty, Dall'Alba & Marton, i n press). The categories, i n the form of the outcome space—which describes the conceptions and serves as an i l l u s t r a t i o n of t h e i r interconnectedness—is presented as a simple model of power as a process which moves from "being" to "action" to "i n t e r a c t i o n " and, correspondingly, from a "private" to a "public" context. This i s followed by a b r i e f discussion of the r e s u l t s , including an overview of the complex interconnections between conceptions. A. Women's Conceptions of Power The outcome space portrays the range of the respondents' varying understandings of power, as they experienced i t s operation, i n d i f f e r e n t situations occurring within t h e i r t r a i n i n g group. In t h i s sense, the focus i s on v a r i a t i o n , not on 74 essence or themes—although we do, of course, look at essence within i n d i v i d u a l conceptions. In working with the data presented by the women who pa r t i c i p a t e d i n t h i s study, I have discovered s i x q u a l i t a t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t conceptions of power, which are presented below. The r e f e r e n t i a l or noematic aspects of each conception are presented as the global meaning or the "what" of the conceptions themselves. The s t r u c t u r a l or noetic aspects of the conceptions are revealed i n the p a r t i c u l a r "points of view" through which each conception i s seen; t h i s "directedness-of thought" within each conception also highlights the interrelatedness of conceptions. In our discussion of i n d i v i d u a l conceptions, we pay p a r t i c u l a r attention to the s t r u c t u r a l / n o e t i c aspects which either mark t r a n s i t i o n s from one conception to another, for example: (a) focus, (b) process, and (c) c o n t e x t — o r to the structural/noetic aspects which stand out as obvious l i n k s between conceptions of power, demonstrating the interrelatedness between the d i f f e r e n t ways the respondents experienced power; an example of the l a t t e r i s "source" of power. Because of the complexity of the phenomenon under study and because d i f f e r e n t aspects (or "fragments") of conceptions are expressed by d i f f e r e n t respondents, the conceptions which follow focus on the r e f e r e n t i a l aspect and those noetic aspects, mentioned above, which s t r i k e the researcher as most predominant or i n t e r e s t i n g . This i s consistent with the accepted view of the r e s u l t s of phenomenographic research as a "discovery" of the researcher. The ordering of the outcome space i s also a construct of the researcher and c e r t a i n l y should not be seen as 75 t h e " c o r r e c t " o r " o n l y " way t o o r g a n i z e the c o n c e p t i o n s . The r e l a t e d c a t e g o r i e s o f d e s c r i p t i o n do i l l u s t r a t e a s imp le p r o g r e s s i o n , but cannot be seen as deve lopmenta l o r h i e r a r c h i c a l i n any " v a l u e " sense . Nor does any p a r t i c u l a r c o n c e p t i o n d e s c r i b e a p a r t i c u l a r re spondent . Each woman who p a r t i c i p a t e d i n t h e d i s c u s s i o n s about power exp re s sed he r c o n c e p t i o n s i n r e l a t i o n t o a number o f d i f f e r e n t e x p e r i e n c e s w i t h i n the group c o n t e x t , and i t thus f o l l o w s t h a t a t one p o i n t she would v iew power i n one way and, i n ano ther s i t u a t i o n , e x p e r i e n c e i t d i f f e r e n t l y . The outcome space c o u l d thus be seen as a map o f a r e g i o n o f thought and e x p e r i e n c e over which each respondent ranged t o a g r e a t e r o r l e s s e r degree. I t p o r t r a y s i n t r a i n d i v i d u a l v a r i a t i o n as w e l l as i n t e r - i n d i v i d u a l v a r i a t i o n o f thought . As p o i n t e d out i n Chapter I I, t he women i n t h i s g roup, as i s common i n phenomenographic r e s e a r c h , h e l d s e v e r a l — e v e n a p p a r e n t l y c o n f l i c t i n g — c o n c e p t i o n s o f power. A summary o f our f i n d i n g s r e s u l t s i n s i x q u a l i t a t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t c o n c e p t i o n s o f power. These a r e : 1. I n t e g r i t y l a . E n t i t l e m e n t 2. E x p r e s s i n g I n t e g r i t y / C o n g r u e n c e 3. S e l f - D e t e r m i n a t i o n 4. Agency/Competence 5. Respected S tand ing 6. I n f l u e n c e The Outcome Space: C a t e g o r i e s o f Meaning Concep t i on One: Power i s p e r s o n a l i n t e g r i t y Women who h e l d t h i s c o n c e p t i o n d e s c r i b e d power as t h e p r o c e s s o f b e i n g i n touch w i t h themse lves a t a v e r y deep l e v e l , 76 which involved "knowing" themselves and f e e l i n g "whole" and comfortable with themselves. Power, i n t h i s sense, was sometimes seen as recognizing and accepting, without defensiveness, personal weaknesses as well as strengths. This conception seems to r e f l e c t the inner strength and energy of a self-connectedness which comes from having forged b e l i e f s , values and knowing into a personal unity. The f i r s t thing that comes to mind..is having that strong sense of who I am. (A-8) So I think there's power i n ju s t being..uhm..happy with your s e l f . (G-54) I f e e l i t (power) r i g h t i n there (pointing to centre of her body)... coming out of who you are..and..what you can do..and being comfortable with that..uh because..we a l l . . t h e r e are aspects of our l i v e s that., despite..Albert E l l i s (laughs) one can..I think..one cannot control. (B-61) If we have..developed..whether through..someone else's nurturing of us..or..through our own self-nurturing..a sense of power within ourselves..so that we f e e l a whole person. (B-55) For some women, t h i s self-knowledge included an awareness of t h e i r roots or hist o r y as an aspect of t h e i r personal integration. This aspect of power as personal i n t e g r i t y was f e l t as a personal connection to women's achievements and strength and might come through knowing the s t o r i e s of t h e i r mothers or other female family members, or through f e e l i n g related to women's contributions i n the world. I f e l t the power growing i n me as I..read about..scientists that no one had ever heard of..or j u s t pioneer women...who managed to do tremendous feats with no support..and..and then going back, of course, to the religions..uh..way back..that were based i n the power of women. And seeing how these had been changed so dramatically with male Christianity..and j u s t getting in..getting i n touch with that whole power base that we have. I thought, "Women have got to understand how powerful we are." (C-7) 77 And then that..that f i t s into my philosophy of knowing our continuity as women. As..our personal h i s t o r i e s . I wanna know about my female r e l a t i v e s . . a s well as ju s t our history i n the world. (C-12) Sometimes, the personal i n t e g r i t y , which i s the core meaning of t h i s conception includes a strong sense of purposiveness i n l i f e . The women who expressed t h i s aspect of the conception described f e e l i n g a very strong commitment to t h e i r work i n l i f e , or t h e i r "paths"—a f e e l i n g of "knowing" why they are here. Yeah! I t ' s finding that personal sense of meaning. (B-51) There's also a very s p i r i t u a l aspect..to it..uhm..you know..not i n a n y . . t r a d i t i o n a l . . r e a l l y formal way. It ' s the sense of belonging..being i n the ri g h t place at the ri g h t time..you know, we're here for a reason..and I have work to do. (C-50) The focus, i n t h i s conception i s always inward, on personal self-awareness. For some women, that inward focus expanded t h e i r experience of power to include a s p i r i t u a l dimension. This i s expressed i n the l a s t quoted excerpt above, as well as below, i n B's response to my request to explain her use of the word "soul" as a synonym for power. In struggling to a r t i c u l a t e her understanding of t h i s , she said: ...I don't know that I'm s p i r i t . . o r . . u h . . s p i r i t i n the sense of energy..but..that I see i t as self-grounded.. not..not transpersonal..you know..I don't think..I don't see t h i s source of s p i r i t or soul coming..from outside oneself..I see i t as growing out of..one's s e l f (laughs) I fe e l i t r i g h t i n there (pointing to centre of her body)..coming out of who you are..and..what you can do..and being comfortable with that...(B-61) Another respondent says: It' s l i k e . . i t ' s not...I know a l o t of people t a l k about higher selves or they t a l k about....uhm..their s p i r i t u a l beliefs..like..uh..their..their..something coming from 78 outside themselves..like a Godcentre or something l i k e that. I don't see i t i n that way. Interviewer: You see i t more as something that comes out of you? Yes..Yes! Interviewer: Central to you. Right! (F-42) The process of power here involves "being." I t i s intrapersonal i n the sense that even when there i s external input of some type, the in d i v i d u a l i s always involved i n assimilating that i n a way that makes i t not only hers, but also part of her, and adds to her self-knowledge or self-awareness. An example of t h i s i s found i n the aspect of t h i s conception which involves women knowing women's history and, through that, strengthening and adding to t h e i r self-knowledge. Feedback from others can also be " g r i s t f or the m i l l " i n t h i s process of self-knowledge, and that i s i l l u s t r a t e d i n B's words: I f you help people to empower themselves—to f e e l good about themselves.... they can uhm...hear..all feedback., p o s i t i v e and negative..uhm..and incorporate that into t h e i r s e l f -understanding. ..(B-33) The "why" of po w e r — i t s purpose or g o a l — i n conception one i s not c l e a r l y a r t i c u l a t e d , but the inference seems to be an intent of the in d i v i d u a l to be "true" to hers e l f i n experiencing who she r e a l l y i s , i n an integrated non-conflicted way. This comes out of such statements as: ...there i s also..a sense of power i n becoming who you t r u l y are. (H-23). The data supports my hunch that conception number one i s 79 i n t e g r a l t o and i n c l u d e d i n each o f the rema in ing c o n c e p t i o n s o f power. T h i s i s p a r t i c u l a r l y obv ious i n c o n c e p t i o n l a and 2. C o n c e p t i o n l a : Power i s a sense o f e n t i t l e m e n t F o r one woman, t h e wholeness and s e l f - a c c e p t a n c e i m p l i c i t i n c o n c e p t i o n 1 i n c l u d e d b e i n g aware o f , and v e r y r o o t e d i n the b a s i c human r i g h t s which a re h e r s , and eve ry i n d i v i d u a l ' s , by v i r t u e o f b e i n g . Her e x p r e s s i o n o f t h i s encompasses a f e e l i n g o f b e l o n g i n g , a f e e l i n g o f d e s e r v i n g t o be a t home i n t h e w o r l d , t o t ake up space and t o share f a i r l y i n a v a i l a b l e r e s o u r c e s . She d e s c r i b e s i t a s : . . . t h a t s t r o n g sense o f who I a m . . a n d . . t h a t I have a r i g h t t o be h e r e . And I have a r i g h t t o t ake up space. . . . f o r y e a r s , I r e a l l y b e l i e v e d . . t h a t t h e few crumbs were what was r i g h t f u l l y mine, i n s t e a d o f s a y i n g , "Wait a minute! Where ' s the cake? Y o u ' r e h i d i n g i t ! . . . S o , yeah, i t ' s v e r y much e n t i t l e m e n t . (C-8,9) The i n c l u s i o n o f c o n c e p t i o n l a i n the outcome space i l l u m i n a t e s and i l l u s t r a t e s one o f the s t r e n g t h s o f phenomenography—namely, t h a t a focus on the range o f c o n c e p t i o n s , r a t h e r than a s ea r ch f o r es sence among them, e n r i c h e s our unde r s t and ing o f the phenomenon b e i n g d e s c r i b e d . In t h i s c a se , a l t hough o n l y one respondent c l e a r l y a r t i c u l a t e d a sense o f e n t i t l e m e n t as a r e f e r e n t i a l a spec t o f power, t h e s t r e n g t h and c l a r i t y o f he r e x p r e s s i o n o f t h i s a l e r t e d me t o i t s e x p r e s s i o n , by s e v e r a l o t h e r re spondent s , as a s t r u c t u r a l a spec t o f power as i n f l u e n c e ( concep t i on 6 ) . In t h e i r e x p r e s s i o n o f t h i s , t h e respondents d e s c r i b e women's power t o have impact o r i n f l u e n c e on o t h e r s i n o r d e r t o get what they want as s e v e r e l y 80 l i m i t e d by t h e i r lack of a sense of entitlement, or deserving. These respondents c i t e gender-bias r e s u l t i n g i n lack of s o c i a l support as a factor a f f e c t i n g women's sense of entitlement. This seems congruent with the view of i n t e g r i t y and entitlement expressed above as an integration of i n t e r n a l and external into a personal unity, i . e . knowing our history, or incorporating feedback from others into our view of ourselves. Thus, although the focus i n conception 1 and l a i s inward and personal, on the "private" s e l f , that s e l f i s , of course, at l e a s t i n part, s o c i a l l y constructed and s o c i a l l y influenced. In discussing women's lack of entitlement, E says: When i t comes r i g h t down to..like..attitudes..and.. w e l l -entrenched b e l i e f s , and so on..that one has grown up with.. s o c i a l i z e d into and a l l that s t u f f . . . there i s n ' t much of a s h i f t , I don't think..they're s t i l l hanging on..they're r e l y i n g on those underlying b e l i e f s , and i f they're r e a l l y put i n a corner, and.. c e r t a i n l y i f i t has anything to do with..you know..being threatened by..another..certainly a woman's power..I think the r e a l b e l i e f comes out..which is..yes..they (men) deserve to be on top. And women..have no r i g h t . . t o be up there. (E-10) And F, i n discussing her opinion that the awareness of women, heightened by the feminist movement, hasn't been translated into personal action by many women, states: ...and c e r t a i n l y women have done a l o t of t a l k i n g about the importance of..equality, and not just equality for women, but equality on a global scale, but..we haven't yet moved..I think a l o t of us have not yet moved to a place where..we're r e a l l y w i l l i n g to act on..we haven't become personally empowered to a point where we can act on..a l o t of the information that we have....I think a l o t of women s t i l l . . a r e s t i l l struggling..with f e e l i n g that they have a right..to..put t h e i r b e l i e f s about power into action. That s t i l l comes from a l o t of fear...cause we s t i l l have to..have to l i v e i n a world which i s very uh...you know, patriarchal..(ma)..male-oriented.. (F-84,85) 81 These i n f e r r e d expressions of conception l a through noetic aspects of another conception also i l l u s t r a t e the v a r i a t i o n among respondents of what i s stressed or focused on. According to Marton (1988): It i s a v a r i a t i o n i n perspective, i n the point of view from which the scene defining the conception i s seen; i t i s a v a r i a t i o n i n the figure-ground structure superimposed on that scene. We may dare to conjecture on the point of departure of t h i s v a r i a t i o n ; we have here a hypothetical candidate for an i n t e r n a l explanatory mechanism of t r a n s i t i o n s between conceptions, (p. 51) This " t r a n s i t i o n between conceptions" ref e r s to repeated f o c i i within various conceptions which may provide l i n k s between them. Since, as pointed out elsewhere i n t h i s study, i n d i v i d u a l s consider a phenomenon i n r e l a t i o n to d i f f e r e n t s i t u a t i o n s and experiences, the respondents' understandings of power w i l l , understandably, vary according to the p a r t i c u l a r context i n which i t i s being viewed or experienced. This example of a n o e t i c / s t r u c t u r a l aspect of conception 6 throwing l i g h t on conception l a i s an example of the complexity of expression of conceptions, a r i s i n g out of the i n f i n i t e v a r i e t y of l i f e - w o r l d experience and i s j u s t one instance of the recurring interrelatedness of conceptions of power which t h i s outcome space i l l u s t r a t e s again and again. One implication of the quotes above, which could be seen as "fragments" (Beaty, Dall'Alba & Marton, i n press) of conception l a (at l e a s t insofar as they shed some l i g h t on that conception and thus add to our understanding of the possible v a r i a t i o n i n the experience of power) i s that entitlement can be seen as a l i n k between conception 1 and the remaining conceptions i n t h i s outcome space i n that conception l a 82 may be seen as a bridge between "being" and "acting" i n the world. This c a r r i e s us from the private, personal l e v e l of conception 1 to the s o c i a l l e v e l of conception 2. Conception 2: Power i s expressing personal integrity/congruence This conception encompasses number 1 (see above) and takes i t one step f u r t h e r — f r o m the i n t e r n a l , or personal, private world to the external, or s o c i a l world. The emphasis here, as i n conception l a , i s s t i l l on " s e l f " but now i t ' s " s e l f - i n the world," as the "knowing" and "self-connectedness" of conception 1 and l a are expressed i n action. Thus, at i t ' s most basic, conception 2 means acting out of and "acting out" s e l f knowledge and personal i n t e g r i t y . For the women holding t h i s conception, i t ' s l i k e a statement of, "This i s who I am." I t involves coming out of the private realm of the s e l f into the public realm of the world and revealing or showing themselves, through words and/or actions, as they r e a l l y a r e — s t r e n g t h s and weaknesses. As i n conception 1, the focus i s on the s e l f , but the process i s now interpersonal at l e a s t i n the sense of action i n the world and sometimes i n the sense of a c t i v e l y engaging or i n t e r a c t i n g with others i n some way. ...power for me..uhm..in this...instance..uhm...would be. .mostly. . .a sense, .of responding. . .with i n t e g r i t y . . o f responding...honestly..uh..outwardly..uh as an expression of what my..my feelings and my...beliefs are..inwardly. So that to me i s power. And there would be a conguence between..what I f e e l and know...and what..I..express...behaviourally. (F-32) When I think of power, uh..in that sense, I think of..uh..uhm..feeling good about yourself... f e e l i n g confident and f e e l i n g strong, and therefore not being a f r a i d . . . t o share experiences..not being a f r a i d to..uhm..to make 83 decisions..uhm..and give opinions. You know being who you are, sharing who you are..sharing your views and your thoughts and your experiences...(H-37) So, i t comes from j u s t t h i s . . f e l t sense..now, that what you see i s what you get. This i s who I am..I'm not about to change i t f o r you..uh..and I'm not going to play games with you. (C-8) I t ' s like..uhm..it•s a central core of knowingness..and I don't r e a l l y know how to put words to i t . . . I t ' s l i k e I f e e l that there's an aspect..of myself..which i s constant..and from which..I can express myself..if I can kind of get the..you know..the smoke rays or the cobwebs..or the extraneous s t u f f out of the way. (F-42) Sometimes t h i s conception i s about assertiveness i n the sense of standing up for yourself, or for what you b e l i e v e — "speaking your t r u t h . " The fundamental goal of assertiveness here i s always to act or present i n a way that i s true to the s e l f — t o maintain, p u b l i c l y , the personal i n t e g r i t y of conception number 1. This p a r t i c u l a r s t r u ctural/noetic aspect of conception 2 (the "why," or intent of action) i s a watershed between the action of conception 2 and that of a l l remaining conceptions, where the intent of power through action/assertiveness may or may not include the intent to stay true to s e l f but i s not l i m i t e d to that. The following quotes discuss assertiveness as the expression of personal i n t e g r i t y (and entitlement): Well, i n that situation....how I saw power was...uhm a couple of ways..one was..having enough confidence for me to speak my mind..on something that I f e l t was r i g h t , or not right..so that was power from within, that I had to f e e l that i t was my..sort of..duty to do that..(So that kind of power is) confidence and...uhm..standing up for what you believe. (G-30) But i t ' s c e r t a i n l y . . . a willingness..to take up space i n the world. To stand up to be counted..uhm..to take up some space. (C-28) 84 Conception 3: Power i s self-determination This conception could be seen as an extension of the "action" of conception 2 into a sense or experience of "ableness," of having e f f e c t — i n t h i s case, on one's own l i f e . B expresses t h i s as: And..being able..to..uh..control your environment.... i n a way that..that works for you and for other people. (B-42) This connection with conception 2 i s c l e a r l y expressed i n many of the noetic "fragments" of the respondents' a r t i c u l a t i o n of t h i s conception, which describe t h i s power as proceeding out of the "inner power" or expressed i n t e g r i t y of conception 2. For example, B says: ...sees options for herself...that come..out of..herself..and not out of imposed choices..or embedded i n society..or others' perceptions..but bedded i n women's own..perceptions of themselves. (B-4) Some respondents describe the connection as movement i n the other d i r e c t i o n , i . e . the "inner power" of conception 1 and 2 i s affected by "power-as-self-determination." In describing her own experience of not f e e l i n g t h i s power, H states: I think i n order to have that inner power, or that inner str e n g t h . . . i t goes hand i n hand with choice. I don't think one would feel..powerful...or one would f e e l strong, i f they had to do something that they didn't want to do....what happened for me i n my own personal experience was that I f e l t I had no choice.... and I f e l t suffocated and I f e l t s t i f l e d . . . . n o t only powerless, but I f e l t , uhm..inadequate. I f e l t insecure..I f e l t uhm....not l i k i n g my s i t u a t i o n , not l i k i n g who I was..low self-esteem..there's a l o t of factors that go into being..or to f e e l i n g powerless and helpless. (H-33,34) These examples serve as a very simple, p a r t i a l i l l u s t r a t i o n of the s t r u c t u r a l aspects of conceptions which involve 85 interconnectedness between conceptions i n the outcome space. Often, as i n these cases, respondents expressed the connections i n the form of one conception as "source" or "influence" on another. An overview of the directedness of these connections between conceptions i s presented l a t e r i n t h i s chapter. The r e f e r e n t i a l aspect of power here was experienced by the women who p a r t i c i p a t e d i n t h i s research as a capacity to be i n charge of t h e i r own l i v e s — t o make choices, to see options for themselves, and to have some control over t h e i r own a f f a i r s . Conception 3 thus involves the intrapersonal/interpersonal processes of self-determination which could be expressed as, "being responsible for myself," or "running my own l i f e . " For the respondents who expressed t h i s conception, t h i s often seemed to involve the capacity for independent decision-making and the a b i l i t y to d i r e c t or e f f e c t changes for themselves. For example: You have the choice as to whether you want to uhm..do i t or not. So then, handing us that choice, and handing us the power to decide for ourselves what we want to do. (H-35) . . . I t means so that...women f e e l good about themselves...uh..feel that they can control t h e i r l i v e s and f e e l they have c h o i c e s — t h a t they're not under someone else's control..(B-3) Of course, being autonomous and independent implies being responsible for oneself, and one women expressed her d i f f i c u l t y with that: Well, the power (she has is) she doesn't need men..you know..she's quite fine without men...and you see, I don't want to f e e l that powerful because then I have to take more r e s p o n s i b i l i t y than I'm w i l l i n g to take so i t ' s very threatening to me... (D-30,31) 86 As i n c o n c e p t i o n 2, t h e f ocus here i s s t i l l inward, on s e l f - i n - t h e - w o r l d ; the p r o c e s s i s a c t i n g o r i n t e r a c t i n g ; and the c o n t e x t i s p u b l i c o r s o c i a l . The "why" o f power h e r e , however, expands b e i n g t r u e t o o n e s e l f t o an i n t e n t t o impact o n e ' s own d e s t i n y . C o n c e p t i o n 4: Power i s agency/competence A commonly-expressed c o n c e p t i o n o f power i n v o l v e d i t s o p e r a t i o n i n t h e p r o c e s s o f g e t t i n g t h i n g s accomp l i shed through the use o f s k i l l s , knowledge, o r e x p e r t i s e , o r g a i n f u l l y u t i l i z i n g o n e ' s p e r s o n a l r e s o u r c e s . Fo r some women t h i s meant a c t i n g i n a competent and r e s p o n s i b l e manner t o " g e t t h e j ob d o n e , " o r t o do t h i n g s " w e l l ; " more d r a m a t i c a l l y , i t sometimes meant " s a v i n g " a s i t u a t i o n o r "knowing what t o do" when o t h e r s were stumped. I t i s not s u r p r i s i n g , c o n s i d e r i n g the c o n t e x t o f a t r a i n i n g group f o r c o u n s e l l o r s , t h a t competence and succes s were, f o r many o f the re spondent s , a s s o c i a t e d w i t h p r o f e s s i o n a l a b i l i t y . T h i s i s expres sed i n the f o l l o w i n g s t a tement s : W e l l . . I . . h a d the power o f the s e s s i o n . . i n knowing i t went w e l l whether (the s u p e r v i s o r ) hugged me o r no t . I had the power. (D-3 5) My power would be . . .my s t r e n g t h a s . . a s . . a . . a s a c o u n s e l l o r . . a s a s tudent c o u n s e l l o r — m y competence, I guess. ( E - 4 4 ) Yeah . . I f e l t l i k e I 'd done my j ob r i g h t . (C-37) Power i s s k i l l . (E-45) I..I f e e l power i s t o be a b l e t o t ake over i n an emerg-not i n an emergency but a c r i s i s — t h a t ' s a l i t t l e too s t r o n g . . b u t t o . . . . sometimes t o know what t o do when o t h e r s a r e s o r t o f s i t t i n g around. (D-20) 87 I could be r e l i e d upon, and she saw me as a r e l i a b l e , responsible person who would get the job done..But I guess..I..I see..power i n that. A person i s powerful i f they are r e l i a b l e and responsible and get the job done. (E-56) At times, t h i s conception i s concerned with confidence i n the sense of a woman's b e l i e f i n her capacity to be instrumentally successful or to make personal gains i n some way. One respondent describes i t t h i s way: Yeah, yeah! I f e l t power because I..I was not a f r a i d of ths si t u a t i o n , you know...D. ju s t threw out t h i s idea, and then I went with i t , and I ran with i t , and succeeded at it..was successful. (D-20) Another expression of t h i s conception implied "stretching" to do ones very best. This could mean meeting a challenge, getting through a c r i s i s or surviving an ordeal and somehow getting something out of that experience, no matter how unpleasant i t had been. The gains i n these cases generally involved learning or personal growth, as i l l u s t r a t e d i n the following examples: I t could also..you could also say, you know, "What have I learned from t h i s ? " and increase your personal power, because..it..you could f e e l , " I ' l l never make t h i s choice again, and here's what I've learned from i t . " And so, " I t wasn't fun while i t lasted, but..I get..you know, I can take something away from i t . " (B-59) ...power..part of..of being i n power i s . . i s . . u s i n g your . . y o u r . . a b i l i t y to the fullest...(H-24) I think things are put i n our path..so..the the..horrible black period i n my l i f e . . I look back at, and say, "Thank God!" I t was the best thing that happened to me..or I'd s t i l l be (unclear).... so that was, you know..the most empowering experience i n my life..was...looking death i n the face! (C-51) The focus here i s on s e l f , the process involves acting or int e r a c t i n g , and the context i s public or s o c i a l . The "why" of 8 8 the process here, however, i s to be "successful" or to make gains. The emphasis here i s always on the a b i l i t y of the in d i v i d u a l to g a i n f u l l y u t i l i z e her personal resources. Unlike conception 5, which may also involve competence or s k i l l s , conception 4 does not imply comparison with others. Conception 5: Power i s respected standing Another expressed conception of power among the women taking part i n t h i s research project, centred around the experience of power as gaining or holding a respected p o s i t i o n v i s - a - v i s others. This conception describes the experience of power as being regarded as a person of s i g n i f i c a n c e — b e i n g validated, or at l e a s t acknowledged by others, although i t could centre around a woman's own perception of her po s i t i o n or standing i n the group. At any rate, i t ' s always about being seen (or seeing oneself) as at l e a s t "equal" to others and, sometimes, as "more equal." The focus here i s on the perception of the in d i v i d u a l by others, since, at lea s t by inference, the i n d i v i d u a l i s always considered i n comparison to others. In that instance..uhm..she f e e l s powerless..uhm..she probably looks at her s k i l l s i n re l a t i o n s h i p to the rest of us....and..probably i n comparison, she just f e e l s so diminished. (F-70) A strong statement of the " i n comparison" theme which runs through t h i s conception i s found i n the description of power as a h i e r a r c h i c a l structure. E says: ...some time i n the l a s t two or three minutes I was..suddenly i t occured to me...I wonder....if I had to arrange people i n (laughs)..in l e v e l s of power i n the group..how would I do that? Cause I did s t a r t o f f towards the beginning..saying..that I see us..sort of working as a 89 group..you know..as equals I guess when you take a l l the outer wrappings off....and uhm..be honest..If I take a l l the outer wrappings of and be honest about i t , I would see a kind of..uh..from my perspective..a kind of hierarchy of power...((E-68) E expressed t h i s process, i n another s i t u a t i o n , as " e l i c i t i n g respect." Well, to me, I guess, i t ' s (power)...commanding respect..from others..or not commanding i t . . i . . i t . . i t sounds l i k e such a m i l i t a r y word..uh..elicits respect from other people. (E-32) Her expression i s i n t e r e s t i n g as one of the few that focused on the i n d i v i d u a l concerned as "actor" and not, as most expressions of t h i s conception as " r e c i p i e n t " of the power. This outside focus on the "other" i s a movement from the inward focus on s e l f inherent i n a l l previously described conceptions. With t h i s change, power i s sometimes described as though i t were an object which i s "given" to another, as i n the following examples: Power's having respect...here's an instance of her giving me power..because she respects my opinion. (F-70) And by doing that, I give them power, because they f e e l l i k e , "No, she's not above me. She's not acting l i k e she's above me." (G-45) I give power to those who have my s o c i a l approval. (D-27) The "why" of power i n t h i s conception seems to be the perception of s e l f as having value i n comparison to others—being "as good as" or "better than," being a person of s i g n i f i c a n c e . The context i s public and the process i s acting or i n t e r a c t i n g — the s e l f i s always seen i n r e l a t i o n to others. Thus the focus i s on the other or, more accurately, on the other's view of the actor. 90 Conception 6: Power i s influencing others This conception revolves around the experience of power as an interpersonal process of influencing others. Thus power i s operating when one person i s influencing another or others, i n some way. The respondents described a very wide varience of meaning of influence, or impact here. This ranged from c o n t r o l l i n g , manipulating or "wielding power over" others at one pole; to teaching, i n s p i r i n g , f a c i l i t a t i n g , nurturing, helping or empowering, at the other. Although the forms of power vary here, what holds constant i s i t s public expression as interpersonal impact. In t h i s conception the "why" of the process i s revealed as the most important noetic aspect. The respondents' experiences of power here, as well as t h e i r attitudes towards i t are strongly mediated by goal, or purpose. A l l the women expressed negative reactions to power as influence when the goal was to control or manipulate i n order to maintain "the upper hand" over others or to make personal gains at another's expense. The differences here are i l l u s t r a t e d i n the following examples: ...because again, as I say..I see i t . . i t depends on how the power i s used...that•s the big...thing.... I f i t ' s for f a c i l i t a t i v e , b e n e f i c i a l purposes...then, I'm fin e with i t . But i f i t ' s that overpowering, manipulative, c o n t r o l l i n g s t u f f . . I don't want to have anything to do with it..though I know i t goes on a l l the time. (E-61) So i t can be a re a l p o s i t i v e thing, or i t can be a r e a l l y black type of energy..uhm..and I've worked with people l i k e that i n my l i f e , when I was i n the corporate world...I mean, they would..they would k i l l t h e i r mother to get what they wanted. So I've seen that energy operate on the darker side of l i f e . (C-26) ...it's..pow(er)..it's sort of authority that she's been...given..that she can wield over other people. So i t ' s a kind of power over. (F-39) 91 Without exception, the women interviewed i n t h i s study described the power of influence as p o s i t i v e when the goal was to benefit another p e r s o n — f o r example: to f a c i l i t a t e learning or growth; share ; nurture or empower. This pole of the v a r i a t i o n of meaning i n conception 6 was described as follows: ...but i t ' s a p o s i t i v e power to..uh..to hear the need..and meet that need.... and..uh..watch..watch the f r u i t of the..you know..of having heard the need and met i t . (B-21) ...that f a c i l i t a t i n g r o l e that counsellors and therapists play, and that nurturing and caring and s t u f f . . t o me, that's very powerful.(E-53) ...she's not a f r a i d to uhm..to c l e a r l y a r t i c u l a t e some of he r . . l i k e her technical expertise.... i n terms of suggesting that t h i s might be..what's wrong....and maybe you should t r y t h i s or that kind of approach.... and that she's not a f r a i d to take action and sort of...uhm..facilitate learning. (G-39) I think i t ' s her power as..as a ro l e model...she's had the power, c e r t a i n l y , to..to uhm... through her modelling..to...oh! f a c i l i t a t e us having r e a l l y respected each other. (H-27) Thus, structuring t h i s outcome space as a movement i n the respondents' experience and understanding of power—from power as "being" to "action" to "i n t e r a c t i o n ; " from a private to a public or s o c i a l context; and from a focus on s e l f to a focus on other, conception 6 stands as in t e r a c t i v e , s o c i a l and other-focused. B. Discussion: The Outcome Space The s i x conceptions of power depict the d i f f e r e n t experiences of power expressed by the women who par t i c i p a t e d i n t h i s research. As noted elsewhere, the focus i n phenomenographic research i s on v a r i a t i o n , not commonality, and what has been described above i s the v a r i a t i o n within and between conceptions. 92 Table 1 summarizes the outcome space and t r a n s i t i o n s between conceptions. Links Between Conceptions The data reveals strong evidence of the interconnectedness of conceptions of power expressed by the respondents. As noted, these connections were expressed, at times, as r e f e r e n t i a l aspects of one conception becoming, i n another expression of power, the noetic aspect of that conception. What t h i s involved was a change i n the directedness-of-thought, or figure-ground, so that the process expressed as the global meaning of one conception i s seen, i n another case, as the source of another conception of power—or, sometimes, as a mitigating or expanding influence on power. For example, at one point f e e l i n g whole and comfortable might be experienced as power ( r e f e r e n t i a l p=integrity), whereas, i n another s i t u a t i o n , the r e f e r e n t a l aspect of power might be seen as having an influence on another person, and the noetic aspect i n terms of source of that influence seen as the influencer's "personhood," or her strong sense of who she i s i n the world ( r e f e r e n t i a l p=influence/source of p or noetic p=integrity). An examination of the respondents 1 t r a n s c r i p t s brings to l i g h t a myriad of these connections between conceptions which are summarized i n the Table 2. Power Systems Sometimes respondents discussed conceptions feeding into one another i n such a way that, for example, acting out a p a r t i c u l a r 93 Table 1; Outcome Space f o r Conceptions of Power # Meaning Focus Process Context 1. Int e g r i t y Self Being Private l a Entitlement Self Being Private 2. Expressing Integrity/Congruence Se l f Acting/ Interacting Public/ S o c i a l 3. Self-Determination S e l f Acting/ Interacting Public/ S o c i a l 4. Agency/Competence Sel f Acting/ Interacting Public/ S o c i a l 5. Respected Standing Other's View Acting/ Interacting Public/ Social 6. Influence Other Interacting Public/ Social 94 Table 2: "Source" of Power as Links Between Conceptions Referential Aspect as Noetic Aspect/Source of # Meaning # Meaning 1 Personal Integrity l a Entitlement 2 Expressing Integrity 3 Self-Determination 4 Agency/competence 5 Respected Standing 6 Influence l a Entitlement 2 Expressing Integrity 3 Influence 5 Respected Standing 2 Expressing Integrity 1 Integrity 3 Self-Determination 4 Agency/Competence 5 Respected Standing 6 Influence 3 Self-Determination 1 Integrity 2 Expressing Integrity 4 Agency/Competence 1 Integrity l a Entitlement 2 Expressing Integrity 3 Self-Determination 5 Respected Standing 6 Influence 5 Respected Standing 1 Integ r i t y l a Entitlement 2 Expressing Integrity 6 Influence 6 Influence 1 Integrity l a Entitlement 2 Expressing Integrity 3 Self-Determination 4 Agency/Competence 5 Respected Standing 95 conception of power leads to another aspect of power which reinforces or adds to the o r i g i n a l aspect of power acted out. One such system was between conception 1 and 2 and 4. Thus the power of f e e l i n g good about oneself and having a sense of purposiveness i n the world and acting on that leads to agency/competence which, i n turn, increases the power of f e e l i n g good about oneself. Another intrapersonal system involved power as personal i n t e g r i t y , leading to acting out of that, leading to competence/agency which, i n turn, gave the actor a sense of power i n terms of being self-determining i n her l i f e , and that fed back into and increased her personal i n t e g r i t y . Sometimes power was described as a dynamic i n t e r a c t i v e system. For example, one in d i v i d u a l might use power as influence to f a c i l i t a t e another person to the power of congruence—or acting out t h e i r personal i n t e g r i t y i n the world. In valuing t h i s l a t t e r expression, the o r i g i n a l actor f a c i l i t a t e s the second in d i v i d u a l ' s power i n the sense of f e e l i n g acknowledged and respected within the group. In the meantime, the second i n d i v i d u a l i s increasing the o r i g i n a l actor's power by allowing and appreciating her influence. This i s an example of a power in t e r a c t i o n over which each party has some control and which, i n the end, r e s u l t s i n mutual influence. Power was frequently described t h i s way—as a dynamic system of mutual influence i n the sense of women mutually nurturing, v a l i d a t i n g and supporting one another. One respondent said, of t h i s type of power system, "When power i s used for...good..it's sort of catching. I t ' s contagious! I t gives other people power" (D-36) . Another 96 respondent commented: "When you share power..if a n y t h i n g . . i t 1 s added to..because..it engenders more...I guess I want to say self-power..and more..other-power" (B-41) . Thus, i n the operation of power when i t involves mutual influence, " i t ' s not l i k e two plus two i s f o u r . . . i t ' s exponential..it j u s t takes great leaps!" (C-46) An i n t e r e s t i n g aspect of t h i s i s that sometimes respondents described t h i s process of power as, not only r a i s i n g the power thresholds of everyone involved, but also lessening or removing the power d i f f e r e n t i a l between in d i v i d u a l s which may have existed at the beginning of the i n t e r a c t i o n . Power as an i n t e r a c t i v e system i s described further i n Chapter V. 97 V. IMPLICATIONS OF FINDINGS In order to discuss the implications of the research findings of t h i s study, t h i s chapter sets the context for discussion by b r i e f l y reviewing some of the relevant research and theory concerning the psychology of power, focusing, f i r s t , on the l i t e r a t u r e dealing with d e f i n i t i o n s of power and, second, on women and power. This i s followed by a discussion of the research r e s u l t s as they illuminate and are illuminated by t h i s l i t e r a t u r e . The chapter concludes with implications for further investigations and implications for counselling. A. Research/Theory: The Psychology of Power For the purposes of t h i s study, the l i t e r a t u r e i n t h i s area i s discussed as two main topics: (a) d e f i n i t i o n s of power, including t r a d i t i o n a l and current understandings of the nature of power, and (b) women and power—focusing on women's developmentmental issues and the impact of these on t h e i r attitudes toward power. The nature of power i s discussed f i r s t . The Nature of Power^ Power has t r a d i t i o n a l l y been defined as the r i g h t or a b i l i t y to control resources—material and human—and to control core s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s , r e s u l t i n g i n the capacity to influence others' behaviour (French & Raven, 1959; Perlman & Cozby, 1983; Sherif, 1982). So c i a l psychologists have focused on 98 the l a t t e r h a l f of t h i s d e f i n i t i o n i n describing power as the capacity to a f f e c t other people and to get them to do what one wants, even i f they demonstrate i n i t i a l resistance to t h i s (Cartwright & Zander, 1968). These views of power see i t as a ri g h t "which one i s able to possess l i k e a commodity" (Foucault, 1980, p. 88). Thus a person or group could c o l l e c t power and have i t f o r t h e i r own use. In t h i s frame, power i s seen as "power over" and the capacity to use or wield t h i s power over others i s based on c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the individ u a l s i n v o l v e d — t h a t i s , the power-holder's power resides i n some base (ex. a ro l e such as president of a company), and the one being influenced must accept, or be forced to accept, the other's domination or influence. Most t h e o r i s t s agree that there are multiple bases of power, and French and Raven's (1959) early typology i s s t i l l seen as a v a l i d model of power viewed t h i s way. They l i s t e d f i v e bases for one ind i v i d u a l ' s power over another. These are: reward power; coercive power; referent power; expert power; and ro l e power or legitimate power. Power generally rests i n some combination of these bases, which are described below. In u t i l i z i n g reward power, influence i s based on the perceived a b i l i t y of one person to give another something the l a t t e r wants. This could range from personal rewards such as a f f e c t i o n or regard, to status rewards such as marks for a un i v e r s i t y student, to material rewards such as money. Of course, i t follows that the rewards must be perceived as important and desirable to the person being influenced. Coercive 99 power i s the f l i p side of t h i s coin i n that i t rests on the a b i l i t y of one to punish the other for f a i l u r e to comply. Coercion, i n t h i s sense, could mean demotion, fines, disapproval, or even physical injury. Again, the strength and effectiveness of coercive power w i l l depend on how di r e or undesirable the negative consequences to be meted out appear to the in d i v i d u a l being influenced. Homans (1974) emphasized the d i f f e r i n g emotional reactions to reward power and coercive power, noting that being rewarded i s usually f e l t as a p o s i t i v e experience, whereas being coerced, for most people, c a l l s up f r u s t r a t i o n and anger. Referent power i s based on the a b i l i t y to influence another to act i n a desired manner because the target of influence l i k e s , i d e n t i f i e s with or admires the powerholder and wants to be l i k e that person. Thus individuals may w i l l i n g l y conform to the standards of those they want to be l i k e without any overt rewards or punishment from the referent i n d i v i d u a l s . An attempt to employ t h i s power could be seen, for example, i n the use of famous sports figures or music i d o l s to advertise p a r t i c u l a r brands of clothing or s o f t drinks. Referent power i s also operating when a c h i l d behaves to please an admired parent, or students adopt the s t y l e of a respected mentor. Judith Bardwick (1979) c a l l e d t h i s "charismatic power," and described i t as "a qu a l i t y that enables people to create authority by v i r t u e of t h e i r appeal, because they are responded to" (p.140). Expert power rests i n the presumed possession of superior knowledge or s k i l l s . Thus, many of us would tend to accept the 100 advice of someone we see as having acquired expertise i n an area we are interested i n or concerned about, p a r t i c u l a r l y i f i t i s an area we know l i t t l e about. F i n a l l y , r o l e power or legitimate power r e f e r s to power accrued through one's p o s i t i o n and based on c u l t u r a l and s o c i a l norms. For example, a professor may be seen as having a legitimate r i g h t to demand p a r t i c u l a r behaviour from students i n the context of the academic programme, or individuals might attempt to demand p a r t i c u l a r behaviour from t h e i r spouses on the pretext that t h i s i s what can l e g i t i m a t e l y be expected from a husband or wife. Whatever frame t h i s power i s exercised within, both pa r t i e s involved must acknowledge the r i g h t of one person to expect the desired behaviour from the other. The above views of power, although obviously r e f l e c t i n g an i n t e r a c t i o n a l element, emphasize "the i n t e n t i o n a l exercise of one i n d i v i d u a l ' s w i l l over others" (Lips, 1991, p. 5). Indeed, power could even be seen as an a t t r i b u t e , or possession, of the powerful—a kind of magic wand which can be picked up and waved to c a l l up obedience. David McClelland's (1975) view of power could be seen as somewhat of a watershed between notions of power as commodity and power as i n t e r a c t i o n . McClelland defines power as "having impact." His p o r t r a i t of power i s leader-centred, but he also discusses the expression of power as a progress toward maturity and, although t h i s term i s not s p e c i f i c a l l y defined, i t seems to involve f l e x i b i l i t y employed i n the s e l e c t i o n of behaviour which i s appropriate to s p e c i f i c circumstances and considerate of others. McClelland described the power s t y l e of dominance and 101 compulsion of others as immature. His preferred leadership s t y l e involves the use of influence and education, rather than force, to set group goals and to create confidence i n group members that these goals can be achieved. Janeway (1980), while acknowledging the dichotomy of the "powerful and the weak," focused on power as a process which involves an active, two-way rel a t i o n s h i p . She sees power as "one aspect of ongoing interactions among human beings of a l l stations" (p. 84). Viewed t h i s way, power i s part of the process of any re l a t i o n s h i p , and both parties, even i f one dominates the other, p a r t i c i p a t e i n and contribute to that process. This consideration acknowledges the connection between power and relatedness, and Janeway points to the developmental process of growing from the dependence of childhood to a creative, interdepdendent s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t maturity, as a power-process i n which and from which we a l l learn as we grow. This process includes developing a strong, healthy sense of s e l f , gaining knowledge about the world, and "learning how to respond to, predict and control events, to bargain, to negotiate with others, and to r e b e l — a l l part of the process of achieving power" (Lips, 1991, p. 4). In describing t h i s process, Janeway states: When we turn from speculation on the or i g i n s of the human species to everyday c h i l d - r e a r i n g practices, we f i n d ourselves once again looking at a process of individuation that depends on relatedness, and which c a r r i e s each human creature from a condition of t o t a l powerlessness toward a goal-not always reached!-of reasonable control over the external circumstances of l i f e and comfortable, affectionate connection with other human creatures. Whatever we know of power begins here, as the s e l f becomes aware of the l i n e that separates i t from the not-self and then learns ways of 102 dealing with the not-self, some more successful than others, (p.28) In r e j e c t i n g s o c i a l psychology's i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c view of power and focusing on r e l a t i o n a l views of t h i s phenomenon, recent t h e o r i s t s see power, not as s t a t i c , but as dynamic—an inescapable aspect of a l l human int e r a c t i o n (Foucault, 1980; Hartsock, 1983; Janeway, 1980). According to Foucault: Power i s employed and exercised through a n e t - l i k e organization. And not only do indiv i d u a l s c i r c u l a t e between i t s threads; they are always i n the p o s i t i o n of simultaneously undergoing and exercising t h i s power. They are not only i t s i n e r t or consenting target; they are always also the elements of i t s a r t i c u l a t i o n , (p. 98) Since the mid-nineteenth century, feminists have generated questions and debate about the nature and use of power. The feminist movement i t s e l f grows out of the basic assumption that power differences e x i s t between men and women. "Feminist e f f o r t s to seek power without emphasizing control over others have l i f t e d the v e i l from some other faces of power" (Lips, 1991, p. 8). One of these faces, described by Janeway (1980) as part of her exploration of the psychology of response to oppression i s the power of resistance, which she labels as one of the "powers of the weak." Thus the weak can exert power by questioning the status quo instead of meekly accepting i t . They can j o i n together i n order to bargain with the powerful for a more equal arrangement. Jean Lipman-Blumen (1984) pointed out that "once the powerless recognize that t h e i r s e l f - i n t e r e s t l i e s i n j o i n i n g with s i m i l a r l y disenfranchised people, they can unite to demand change" (p. 9). Bardwick (1976) l a b e l l e d t h i s power "compensatory manipulation" and described i t as "intended to 103 diminish another 1s control, exercised i n order to protect oneself" (p. 140). This power i s , of course, influence, but i t cannot r e a l l y be seen as "influence over;" Janeway names i t "power from under," and i t seems most concerned with r e s i s t i n g and l i m i t i n g the power of others. Another of the faces of power favoured by those who seek to move away from focusing on power s o l e l y as domination over others, i s the power to achieve one's g o a l s — e i t h e r i n d i v i d u a l l y or c o l l e c t i v e l y . Jean Baker M i l l e r (1986) describes t h i s as the "capacity to implement," and she notes that t h i s i s a fresh outlook on power i n that i t assumes that power may be f e l t p r i m a r i l y for the s e l f , without implying a winner-loser s i t u a t i o n . Thus, one of the important implications of t h i s power rests i n the assumption that i t i s possible to act as an "empowered" person i n the world without dominating or r e s t r i c t i n g 'others' r i g h t s to do the same. In discussing t h i s power, which involves a sense of personal capacity and po t e n t i a l effectiveness, M i l l e r states: In a basic sense, the greater the development of each i n d i v i d u a l the more able, more e f f e c t i v e , and le s s needy of ' l i m i t i n g or r e s t r i c t i n g others she or he w i l l be. (p. 116) "There i s also personal power, i n the sense of confidence that resides i n oneself, that comes from one's maturity and s e l f -respect" (Bardwick, 1976, p.140). An important element of t h i s , according to Bardwick, i s that the strength r e f l e c t e d i n t h i s personal power comes out of a sense of s e l f which i s firmly based i n an acceptance of oneself. According to her, people who experience t h i s i n t e r n a l power are "not dominated by the need to 104 be l i k e d , not measuring themselves by others 1 responses, they do not need to conform to or rebel against others" (Ibid). This de s c r i p t i o n of power seems s i m i l a r to Maslow's (1968) concept of " s e l f - a c t u a l i z a t i o n , " and Winnicott's (1971) idea of "a capacity fo r creative l i v i n g . " M i l l e r (1986) also speaks of "authenticity" as becoming/being oneself and the "personal c r e a t i v i t y " which comes out of that. She describes t h i s process of personal c r e a t i v i t y as follows: Personal c r e a t i v i t y i s a personal process of bringing forth a changing v i s i o n of oneself, and of oneself i n r e l a t i o n to the world. Out of t h i s creation each person determines her/his next step and i s motivated to take that next step. This v i s i o n must undergo repeated change and re-creation. Through childhood and adulthood, too, there are i n e v i t a b l e physical changes as one grows and then ages. These demand a change i n one's r e l a t i o n to the world. Further, there are the continuous psychological changes that lead to more experience, more perceptions, more emotions, and more thought. I t i s necessary to integrate a l l these into a coherent and constantly enlarging conception of one's l i f e , ( p . I l l ) Another facet of personal power—one that Lips (1991) points to as l a r g e l y overlooked i n feminist discussion, except by those interested i n feminist s p i r i t u a l i t y , i s "power from within" (Starhawk, 1982) which focuses on an acceptance of the innate i n d i v i d u a l value of each person and which translates, i n knowing that value, into "an inner strength." Like some Native Canadian and American s p i r i t u a l practices, nascent feminist theologies emphasize that t h i s power has i t s source i n the i n d i v i d u a l — n o t , as i n t r a d i t i o n a l Western r e l i g i o n , i n an external source such as God. Power from within comes from connection with s e l f on an e s s e n t i a l l e v e l and i s nourished through i n t e r a c t i o n with others and with the environment. 105 Although feminist dialogue has added to our picture of power, i t has not managed to resolve the ambivalence towards power which, probably, the less powerful members of society have always experienced. Indeed, "the debates have succeeded only i n h i g h l i g h t i n g , not i n resolving, the uneasiness about power" (Lips, 1991, p. 10). The next sections of t h i s chapter examine the psychology of women and women's orientations/attitudes to power. The Psychology of Women and Power In examining power through the various lenses with which i t has been viewed, i t becomes apparent that as t r a d i t i o n a l concepts of "power over" were broadened to include i n t e r a c t i v e and intrapersonal elements, power could take new forms "and a d i s i n c l i n a t i o n toward dominance or a recognition of one's own feelings of v u l n e r a b i l i t y and uncertainty need not imply weakness" (Lips, 1991, p. 89). Serious consideration of heretofore ignored aspects of power have come out of a growing awareness that women's experience, which i s often d i f f e r e n t from men's, r e s u l t s i n a d i f f e r e n t orientation towards s o c i a l phenomena, and a consideration of these orientations has contributed to a re-valuing of q u a l i t i e s and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which are often associated with femininity (in men as well as i n women). Theorists involved i n t h i s work have pointed out that feminine q u a l i t i e s usually seen as d i s a b i l i t i e s are often, i n r e a l i t y , strengths, and that by including women's experience and 106 orientation, we expand our understanding of power, to the benefit of both sexes. Carol G i l l i g a n ' s (1982) work on women's moral development suggests that developmental differences between the sexes r e s u l t i n a l t e r n a t i v e conceptions of maturity—which are not necessarily i n f e r i o r to the accepted d e f i n i t i o n s which had been based on observations of male experience. The psychology of women which has been described i n terms of women's orienta t i o n toward being i n r e l a t i o n s h i p implied, i n G i l l i g a n ' s mind, that women bring a d i f f e r e n t point of view and d i f f e r e n t p r i o r i t i e s to t h e i r l i f e experience. For the women involved i n her research, these differences centered around the importance of care and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to others within r e l a t i o n s h i p as opposed to in d i v i d u a l r i g h t s , and around connectedness as opposed to separation. These differences seem consistent with male emphasis on companionate and instrumental modes of r e l a t i n g as d i f f e r e n t from female emphasis on a f f i l i a t i o n and connectedness found i n studies of re l a t i o n s h i p patterns within organizations (Eagley, 1978; Hennig & Jardin, 1977; Kanter, 1977; Riger & Galligan, 1980). As noted above, McClelland (1975) viewed power s t y l e s i n terms of maturity/immaturity, and he also pointed to the developmental differences i n women and men as leading to d i f f e r e n t power s t y l e s i n the mature i n d i v i d u a l . Like G i l l i g a n , McClelland saw the construction of maturity by women as "invoking interdependence, b u i l d i n g up resources, and giving" (p. 96). Whereas research revealed that power fantasies i n men often 107 revolved around assertion and aggressiveness, i n women these fantasies were concerned with nurturance as strength. In discussing women's t r a d i t i o n a l approach towards power as nurturing and caring, McClelland stated: I t should be emphasized, however, that there i s absolutely no reason why a woman has to or should adopt t h i s l i f e s t y l e or why a man for that matter should not adopt i t . My own b e l i e f i s that the t r a d i t i o n a l male's single-minded, s p e c i a l i z e d assertive l i f e s t y l e i s far too dominant and too much valued i n so-called advanced s o c i e t i e s . Both women and men are drawn to i t - t o f u l l - t i m e s p e c i a l i z e d careers, for instance-because that i s the only way to be f u l l y respected i n contemporary Western society. The t r a d i t i o n a l male l i f e s t y l e has won out and exerts an even subtler form of oppression on women who f e e l increasingly worthless i f they pursue the t r a d i t i o n a l feminine s o c i a l emotional r o l e rather than the male instrumental r o l e . . . I see no reason why more men cold not or should not adopt such a r o l e also. (p. 93) Jean Baker M i l l e r (1986) also saw women's orienta t i o n toward power as d i f f e r i n g from the t r a d i t i o n a l male orient a t i o n . M i l l e r focuses on women's p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n relationships of dominance and subordination i n her exploration of these d i f f e r i n g orientations. She distinguishes, here, between relationships of permanent inequality as compared to those of temporary i n e q u a l i t y — t h e l a t t e r r e f e r r i n g to relationships, such as parent/child or teacher/student, i n which power i s i d e a l l y used i n supporting and encouraging development which eventually ends the d i s p a r i t y . Relationships of permanent inequality, on the other hand, use power to maintain dominance of one group over another, and to le g i t i m i z e that inequality and incorporate i t into society's "guiding concepts." Focusing, i n t h i s way, on power ineq u i t i e s , M i l l e r describes the psychology of women as coming out of t h e i r positions i n 108 r e l a t i o n s h i p s of temporary and permanent inequality. She saw women as dominant i n temporarily unequal rel a t i o n s h i p s (ex. mother/child) and subordinate i n permanently unequal rel a t i o n s h i p s with men. These l a t t e r r e l ationships, she points out, are complicated by the intimate sexual and f a m i l i a l bonds between men and women. According to M i l l e r , women thus have a p a r t i c u l a r l y unique vantage point i n terms of t h e i r experience and observations of the poten t i a l for care and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y within human rel a t i o n s h i p , as well as the pot e n t i a l f or domination and oppression. In Toward a New Psychology of Women (1986), M i l l e r asserted a psychology of power and maturity which recognized that separation does not displace the value of care and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i n relati o n s h i p s . In discussing women's pecul i a r p o s i t i o n v i s - a - v i s power relationships within the family, she pointed out that: What has not been recognized i s that t h i s psychic s t a r t i n g point contains the p o s s i b i l i t i e s for an e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t (and more advanced) approach to l i v i n g and functioning-very d i f f e r e n t , that i s , from the approach fostered by the dominant culture. In i t , a f f i l i a t i o n i s valued as highly as, or more highly than, self-enhancement. Moreover, i t allows for the emergence of the truth: that for everyone-men as well as women-individual development proceeds only by means of connection, (p. 83) Consistent with M i l l e r ' s position, P e r c i v a l and Percival (1986) found, across two studies, that women and men who were able to define themselve i n a non-oppositional way—i.e. incorporate both connectedness to others or empathy, and separateness or agency—were able to transcend t r a d i t i o n a l gender constructs and were supportive of equality f o r women. In bringing the voices of women out of silence and into 109 t h e i r research on human development and the psychology of power, and i n recognizing that women's often devalued q u a l i t i e s can be seen, i n fact, as strengthening power's "appropriate operation" ( M i l l e r , 1986, p. 118), these t h e o r i s t s have made important connections between an ethic of care and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y toward others, on the one hand, and i n d i v i d u a l r i g h t s , on the other. G i l l i g a n (1982) points to the importance of l i s t e n i n g c a r e f u l l y to the voices of both women and men and hearing the d i f f e r e n t r e a l i t i e s of t h e i r l i v e s , so that i n recognizing d i f f e r i n g modes of s o c i a l experience and interpretation, "we a r r i v e at a more complex rendition of human experience" (p. 174). In pointing to the i n e v i t a b l e connections between the two disparate modes of experience, she stated: Just as the language of r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s provides a weblike imagery of relationships to replace a h i e r a r c h i c a l ordering that dissolves with the coming of equality, so the language of r i g h t s underlines the importance of including i n the network of care not only the other but also the s e l f , (p. 173) Women's Attitudes Toward Power Developmental aspects of women's l i f e experience a f f e c t s t h e i r orientations and attitudes toward power. As Jean Baker M i l l e r (1986) and others have pointed out, the "womanly strengths" referred to above, come, not out of any p a r t i c u l a r s a i n t l i n e s s or higher awareness exclusive to women, but out of the p e c u l i a r and sometimes pa i n f u l r e a l i t y of women's gender-defined s o c i a l i z a t i o n . The emphasis on feminine q u a l i t i e s as p o s i t i v e and valuable i s r e l a t i v e l y new and c e r t a i n l y not 110 u n i v e r s a l l y accepted, by men or by women. Since, as McClelland pointed out i n 1975, "sex r o l e turns out to be one of the most important determinants of human behaviour" (p. 81) and since research data, at lea s t up u n t i l that time, had focused almost exclu s i v e l y on studies of males, there has been a tendency to "regard male behaviour as the 'norm1 and female behaviour as some kind of deviation from that norm" (Ibid). This has resulted i n women f e e l i n g devalued and, often, accepting the notion that they are, indeed, less valuable and that something i s wrong with t h e i r feelings or behaviour. Women's (and men's) s o c i a l i z a t i o n i n t h i s d i r e c t i o n begins, Lipman-Blumen (1984) says, i n childhood, when boys and g i r l s are segregated i n s c h o o l — n o t on the basis of who they are or what they can do, but on the basis of having been born male or female. Whatever the boys do i s accorded more importance, and thus, lacking s o c i a l l y - v a l u e d resources, women are, from the beginning seen as less important and less v a l u a b l e — b y males and by each other. According to Gordon A l l p o r t (1955), victims of prejudice are l i k e l y to take on defensive modes of behaviour; he described these as intropunitive and extropunitive ego-defenses. Rawlings and Carter's (1977) application of A l l p o r t ' s theory to women i s consistent with Lipman-Blumen's (1984) work. Intropunitive ego-defenses turn s o c i e t a l devaluation of women inward towards the s e l f and other women. Thus women who manifest intropunitive ego defenses protect themselves by denying membership i n t h e i r own group, sometimes by being careful not to "step out of l i n e " or to I l l associate with women who might be seen as "deviant" i n terms of s o c i e t a l views of accepted feminine behaviour or ideas. For such women, the very idea of claiming power for themselves by ac t u a l i z i n g t h e i r p o t e n t i a l i n non-traditional ways, may be f e l t as intensely frightening, and they may resent other women who attempt to do that. Thus, while recent theory suggests that women may bring p a r t i c u l a r strengths to bear on our understanding of power, women have t h e i r own p a r t i c u l a r problems with power. As M i l l e r (1986) points out, for many women, power " i s almost a d i r t y word-in somewhat the same way 'sex* has been" ( p. 115). Just as "nice g i r l s " didn't want any (sex) i n the f i f t i e s , "nice women" today often shy away from the notion of themselves as powerful. Research suggests that t h i s fear of power r e s u l t s from the experience of powerlessness (Lips, 1991). Bardwick (1979) pointed out that "those without power are always preoccupied with i t because they are always a f r a i d of being victims" (p. 141), and c e r t a i n l y women have experienced ascribed powerlessness i n every area. As numerous researchers and t h e o r i s t s have pointed out, men on the average possess more reward power, more coercive power, more referent power, more expert power and more legitimate power (Janeway, 1980; Johnson, 1976; Kahn, 1980; Lips, 1991). Also, some men have used that power to dominate and control women i n ways that women f i n d very frightening, including threatened or actual physical violence or abuse (Baker-Miller, 1986; Kahn, 1980; Lips, 1991; Herman, 1979). Thus, women's use of t h e i r own power, i n t h e i r own intere s t , sometimes brings a severely 112 negative reaction from men and, for some women, t h i s knowledge i s a deterrent to acting i n powerful ways (Baker-Miller, 1986). This personal understanding of powerlessness, combined with women's emphasis on care and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y within rela t i o n s h i p , may also s e n s i t i z e women to the misuse of power, i n that they may shy away from success at the expense of another's f a i l u r e ( G i l l i g a n , 1987). I f a woman sees the use of power as l i k e l y to hurt another person, i n t e r f e r e with another's r i g h t s , or e n t a i l the loss of empathy for others, then she may "construe the c o n f l i c t between femininity and adulthood as a moral problem" ( G i l l i g a n , 1982, p. 97). Janeway (1982) speaks of the contradiction, for women, "between a l i m i t i n g power to compel and a l i b e r a t i n g power to act" (p. 87). She asks "how dare we tr u s t our own aspirations if...ambition for oneself can be transmuted i n the space of a breath into domination over others?" (p.88) Of course, a questioning of t r a d i t i o n a l d e f i n i t i o n s of success and power may, as pointed out above, benefit both women and men. Taken to extremes, however, a fear of power may l i m i t women's perceptions of t h e i r own poten t i a l and block t h e i r a b i l i t y to move new understandings of power into action. G i l l i g a n (1982) also discusses power as choice and she points out that i n order to be w i l l i n g to make choices, one must be w i l l i n g to accept r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the choices one makes. Women who experience lack of power and a need to depend on men for protection and support may have grave fears around being responsible for making t h e i r own choices. These women may make the choice to trade t h e i r power as decision-makers for the 113 approval or support they believe they need. G i l l i g a n described t h i s process i n the following words: To the extent that women perceive themselves as having no choice, they correspondingly excuse themselves from the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y that decision e n t a i l s . C h i l d l i k e i n the v u l n e r a b i l i t y of t h e i r dependence and consequent fear of abandonment, they claim to wish only to please, but i n return for t h e i r goodness they expect to be loved and cared for . (p. 67) Paula Caplan (1981) also discussed women's d i f f i c u l t y i n dealing with the freedom to choose. She pointed out that many t r a d i t i o n a l women never r e a l l y make choices about t h e i r l i f e d i r e c t i o n s , except to choose who they would marry. The other choices were made for them—by parents, by society, and l a t e r by t h e i r husbands. In her opinion, women are often made to f e e l that they r e a l l y have no choices and that, at any rate, " t h e i r husbands are f a r better equipped to make choices and decisions" (p. 154). Caplan goes on to say: If we never make our own choices and decisions, we never have to grow, and we f i n d i t hard to know what we want, how we would choose i f i t were up to us. (Ibid) Thus, i n spit e of the growing body of research and theory which i s slowing changing c u l t u r a l norms and values, t r a d i t i o n a l gender s o c i a l i z a t i o n and gender d e f i n i t i o n s are s t i l l very powerful. I t seems that both these t h i n g s — t h e changing f o c i i , and the t r a d i t i o n a l d e f i n i t i o n s of what we are allowed and expected to b e — w i l l a f f e c t women's conceptions of power for some time to come. 114 B. Discussion The preceding section explored some of the relevant l i t e r a t u r e on the psychology of power as i t re l a t e s to women's experience. The following discussion examines the research findings of t h i s study (see Chapter IV) i n the l i g h t of that l i t e r a t u r e , with a view to seeing how the research data and the l i t e r a t u r e might illuminate one another. I t focuses, f i r s t , on understandings of the nature of power—as i l l u s t r a t e d through the outcome space and, second, on women's orientation and attitudes toward power. Women's Understandings of the Nature of Power The respondents i n t h i s study hold s i x q u a l i t a t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t conceptions of power. These can be expressed as (a) integrity/entitlement, (b) expressing integrity/congruence, (c) self-determination, (d) agency/competence, (e) respected N standing, and (f) influence. Before examining each conception i n d i v i d u a l l y , t h i s section discusses findings related to a l l conceptions. The f i r s t thread which weaves i t s way through a l l the conceptions i s a view of power as a dynamic process, rather than a s t a t i c phenomenon. This leads d i r e c t l y to the second finding which appears as somewhat of a theme throughout the data, and that i s that rather than being seen as an in d i v i d u a l r i g h t , "which one i s able to possess l i k e a commodity" (Foucault, 1980, p. 88), power i s seen as r e l a t i o n a l — a n undeniable aspect of a l l 115 human i n t e r a c t i o n . Over and over again, as the respondents struggled to a r t i c u l a t e t h e i r experience of power, interdependence among the "actors" was taken into account. This view, of course, i s consistent with feminist theory which emphasizes women's inter-connectedness within r e l a t i o n s h i p s (Baker-Miller, 1986; G i l l i g a n , 1982; Lips, 1991). That i s not to claim that the respondents u n i l a t e r a l l y defined power i n t h i s way i n each and every instance of describing t h e i r experiences. Indeed, the range of v a r i a t i o n i n terms of directedness of thought within conceptions mirrors, to some degree, the movement i n psychology's view of power, as described above, and that, of course, i s to be expected. But, often, even when a woman acknowledged the operation of power based on i n d i v i d u a l r i g h t s , from j u s t under the surface of her desc r i p t i o n would emerge the themes of interdependence, embeddedness within rela t i o n s h i p , connection with others. Influence was, most often, seen as mutual influence; s e l f -determination was described as being able to control one's environment i n a way "that works for you and for other people" (B-42); personal i n t e g r i t y , although always involving an inward focus, also necessarily involved the i n t e r n a l i z a t i o n of i n t e r -connectedness. For example, an aspect of personal integration, i n some cases was an owning of one's h i s t o r y as a woman—either a connectedness with family members, such as mothers and grandmothers, or a connectedness with women as contributors through the ages. Another aspect of the dynamic i n t e r a c t i v e nature of power 116 described by the respondents involved a view of power as a productive "snowballing" process, a kind of "system of energy" which b u i l t upon i t s e l f and increased, not j u s t for the i n i t i a t o r of the process, but for a l l the p a r t i e s involved. One respondent, for instance, described the i n s t r u c t o r ' s power as "an inner strength," which, as she acted i t out i n the world, f a c i l i t a t e d power for the co u n s e l l o r s - i n - t r a i n i n g ; i n noting the development of t h i s inner strength within her students, the supervisor's own power grew—and so on, i n a kind of chain reaction. The respondent described t h i s system as a "flowing back and f o r t h of power" (H-28). Another respondent spoke of power as: ..the energy of the i n t e r a c t i o n that's happening.... and that energy f a c i l i t a t e s more inte r a c t i o n , and i t facilitates...uhm...that f a c i l i t a t e s you..uhm..again, coming up with more personal resources than you knew that you had....by me feeling...her power..or her a b i l i t y to exert h e r s e l f to say what she thinks well, I ' l l j u s t leave i t at that...I'm understanding her, so she f e e l s validated and I think that can energize her, and she can come up with more things... Interviewer: So when you say i t energizes you, do you mean you f e e l more powerful? Yeah, I f e e l more powerful, too, and I can.. Interviewer: And then she f e e l s more powerful? Yeah..(G-42) A very i n t e r e s t i n g product of power described t h i s way i s the p o s s i b i l i t y of a kind of "equalization" of power. Thus, even i f i t s t a r t s o f f with one person being more powerful, because of superior knowledge, or r o l e , for instance, i n the i n t e r a c t i o n the power begins to equal out. The respondent quoted above went on 117 to describe t h i s feature of the process: But what i t comes down to, too, i s one of the key points, I think..and that i s . . i s that..even though i t may have began..with an unequal....uhm..how am I going to put t h i s ? . . . . i t could be unequal power because she might be i n a more powerful p o s i t i o n than I am....it becomes more of an equal kind of an i n t e r a c t i o n even though..she's more knowledgeable?..Because....uhm..I'm ..I'm exerting power i n a d i f f e r e n t kind of way..back to her. We're exerting power on each other....but i t ' s mobilizing both of us, it's..uhm..somehow both of us could come up with resources that sort of..contribute to.. (G-43) I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note, although the quoted data comes out of extended descriptions of two q u a l i t a t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t conceptions of power (the f i r s t — p o w e r as expressing i n t e g r i t y ; the second—power as influence), the s i m i l a r i t i e s i n the process and end product of power. The exercise of power, i n these cases, i s not only seen as dynamic, i n t e r a c t i v e and embedded i n connectedness, but also as l i b e r a t i n g — a very d i f f e r e n t focus from a t r a d i t i o n a l view of power as dominance over others! The Six Conceptions as Views of Power Conception One: Power as Integrity This conception of power as knowing oneself and being comfortable with oneself i s often described, by the respondents, as an "inner strength" or as "inner power." As noted above, i t involves not only a self-connectedness, but also the connectedness of being related to others and integrating that connectedness into one's self-concept. I t seems that t h i s conception i s most c l o s e l y related to feminist perceptions of personal power consistent with Bardwick*s (1976) description of 118 personal power; the strength and confidence r e f l e c t e d i n the operation of t h i s power rests on a foundation of self-acceptance. My sense was that some respondents seemed to be attempting to a r t i c u l a t e the "essential l e v e l " self-connection of those who discuss personal power i n the framework of feminist s p i r i t u a l i t y . In one case, f o r instance, the speaker used the word "soul" as a synonym for power; i n another, she referred to her s e l f as " s p i r i t , " and went on to describe that as " s p i r i t i n the sense of energy....I see i t as self-grounded..not transpersonal... I don't see t h i s . . . coming..from outside oneself...I see i t as growing out of oneself" (B-61). Although none of the respondents s p e c i f i c a l l y discussed modern feminist s p i r i t u a l i t y , i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that no one discussed power as coming out of a t r a d i t i o n a l s p i r i t u a l path or b e l i e f , such as C h r i s t i a n i t y , which would f i n d i t s power i n an external source. Conception l a , power as entitlement, also seems, to me, to be somewhat related to the "power from within" which emphasizes the innate i n d i v i d u a l value of each i n d i v i d u a l . Conception Two: Power i s Expressing Personal Integrity Women holding t h i s conception were concerned with expressing themselves honestly i n the world. Sometimes t h e i r acted out or spoken statements of being involve assertiveness, but always with the intention of standing up for t h e i r inner truth or remaining true to themselves. I t brings to mind M i l l e r ' s (1986) view of personal power as "authenticity," which she defined as in d i v i d u a l s ' a b i l i t y to act "on the basis of t h e i r own 119 perceptions and evaluations...to act and react out of t h e i r own being" (p. 113). M i l l e r points out that highly educated or accomplished women may already have t r a v e l l e d a long way i n creating authentic l i v e s for themselves, but she underlines the r i s k that such behaviour may e n t a i l for many women. In order to act out t h e i r authenticity, women must possess a strong conviction of t h e i r own worth and of t h e i r own r i g h t to s e l f -development (cf. conception l a : power i s a sense of entitlement). One respondent, i n expressing her conviction of the need for acting out personal i n t e g r i t y , captured much of t h i s . She said: I think my l i f e . . i s . . c e r t a i n l y an example and I..I think as are the l i v e of many women. We've spent so much of our lives...doing what other people wanted.<saying the r i g h t thing, and being appropriate and..speaking i n turn, or..speaking q u i e t l y when you might..rather say your piece..and..1 1ve c e r t a i n l y come to a point i n my l i f e where..I'm not going to l i v e with that any more! Even i f i t means..taking a r i s k and facing the music..which, often I do...(F-52) This conception also seems to be related to the feminist view of personal power. In r e a l l y being congruent i n the w o r l d — i n acting out of a self-accepting sense of s e l f — t h e actor transcends the domination of "the need to be li k e d . . . t o conform to or rebel against others" (Bardwick, 1976, p. 140). Conception Three: Power i s Self-Determination This conception i s , perhaps, most c l o s e l y related to feminist conceptions of power as the capacity to implement. I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note the difference between t h i s conception— which sees power as the capacity to have impact on one's own l i f e and on the environment, the awareness of choices i n l i f e , and 120 r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f or onese l f — a n d power as t r a d i t i o n a l l y - d e f i n e d autonomy. Rather than being based s o l e l y on in d i v i d u a l r i g h t s , t h i s conception takes into account, not only r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for oneself but also r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for others. One respondent, for example, described conception three as: " (Power i s ) . , being able..to..uh..control your environment.... i n a way that..that works for you and for other people" (B-42). This brings to mind the cautionary words of Jean Baker M i l l e r : ... i t i s c e r t a i n l y oppressive for women to be dependent economically, p o l i t i c a l l y , s o c i a l l y , and psychologically. However, the simple opposite, to be what i s c a l l e d 'independent' i n the dominant group conception of that term, may be a spurious goal. Perhaps there are better goals than 'independence' as that word has been defined. Or rather, there may e x i s t better conditions, which the word i t s e l f tends to deny: for example, f e e l i n g e f f e c t i v e and free along with f e e l i n g intense connections with other people. (1986, p. 119) Conception 4: Power i s Agency/Competence Again, t h i s conception focuses on power as the a b i l i t y to achieve one's goals—without implying the need to "win out" over o t h e r s — i n the basic sense of g a i n f u l l y u t i l i z i n g personal resources. One respondent expressed t h i s as "using your a b i l i t y to the f u l l e s t " (B-59). At times, t h i s might mean "doing a good job" or "being s k i l l f u l . " A v a r i a t i o n on t h i s , however, could involve r e a l l y doing one's best, no matter what the outcome, or surviving an ordeal and coming out of i t with some learning or personal growth—even i f the process i t s e l f was unpleasant. I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note, that i n expressing power i n t h i s way, many respondents s t i l l focused on a theme of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y 121 within r e l a t i o n s h i p . This i s how one woman a r t i c u l a t e d that: I could be r e l i e d upon, and she saw me as a r e l i a b l e , responsible person who would get the job done..But guess..I..I see..power i n that. A person i s powerful i f they are r e l i a b l e and responsible and get the job done. (E-56) Conception 5: Power i s Respected Standing In t h i s study, many of the women who expressed a view of power as respected standing focused on themselves or others i n comparison to others i n the sense of t h e i r standing i n the group. This aspect of conception 5 i s in t e r e s t i n g i n that i t appears to be, with the exception of the " t r a d i t i o n a l " pole of conception 6, the most c l o s e l y related, of the s i x conceptions, to t r a d i t i o n a l d e f i n i t i o n s of power. Although descriptions of the conception do not reveal "power over" themes, they do describe power as a h i e r a r c h i c a l s t r u c t u r e — " a kind of hierarchy of power" (E-68), and they point out that people low i n the hierarchy are apt to f e e l poor self-esteem, as a r e s u l t . Respondents who spoke of power as a h i e r a r c h i c a l structure eit h e r warned against i t s operation as being disempowering for those on the bottom rungs of the ladder, and/or they expressed d i s t r e s s that they were conceiving of power that way. One interview exchange went as follows: (Very s o f t l y ) Gee..I guess I have l e v e l s of powerful people i n our c l i n i c . Interviewer: You look disturbed by that.. Oh..distressed..I am distressed....well, i t ' s that..you know..one of a group..and I...I don't l i k e to see things i n hierarchies...But...1 have to admit that I guess I do. (E-66) 122 Also, although not a l l respondents had t h i s perspective on power as respected standing, many described power here as an object or "commodity" which could be "given" or "taken" from others—another t r a d i t i o n a l focus. Conception 6: Power i s Influencing Others Power i s described here as influencing or having impact on others. This conception could be seen as bipo l a r i n terms of the intent or purpose of power. On the one hand, respondents acknowledged the existence of power as "power over" others with a goal of using control, coercion, or manipulative behaviour to make personal gains without considering or caring about the needs of others. This pole of power as influence appears to be consistent with t r a d i t i o n a l views of power as control and the a b i l i t y to getting the targets of power to do what the powerholder wants them to do. The opposite pole of power as influence involves using power to benefit o t h e r s — a s i n teaching, nurturing, f a c i l i t a t i n g , empowering. Power described i n t h i s way seemed c l o s e l y related to feminist interpretations of power i n several ways. F i r s t , respondents often stressed t h i s type of influence as bedded i n relatedness i n the sense of involving care and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for others. Second, influence i n the sense of nurturing or f a c i l i t a t i n g others, held i n i t s e l f the p r o b a b i l i t y of becoming a dynamic process of the type of mutual influence described above, where the beginning power imbalance often equals out i n the process, and i n which both (or a l l ) actors nourish and 123 f a c i l i t a t e one another's power. Women's Orientation and Attitudes to Power I t i s important to note here that a research study of t h i s type focusses on description and does not purport to make inferences which compare women's conceptions or understandings with men's. I t i s concerned s o l e l y with describing women's conceptions of power and, i n p a r t i c u l a r , the conceptions held by members of the p a r t i c u l a r all-woman group which volunteered to pa r t i c i p a t e i n t h i s research. The l i t e r a t u r e which focuses on women's orientations to power, however, compares and contrasts women's experience to men's. F i r s t , as discussed i n more d e t a i l above, the research data here appears consistent, for the most part, with Carol G i l l i g a n ' s moral development theory which portrays women approaching power issues through a concern with care and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y within r e l a t i o n s h i p . Thus, love, connection and interdependence are not seen, by the respondents i n t h i s study, as antitheses to power. Second, the findings are consistent with David McClelland's (1975) s i m i l a r portrayal of women's orientation to power being based i n interdependence, nurturing and giving. Third, there also appears to be some support f o r Jean Baker M i l l e r ' s (1986) thesis that women approach power from a "care and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y " orientation, coming out of t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r experiences within family systems where they p a r t i c i p a t e intimately both i n relationships of permanent inequality and rel a t i o n s h i p s of temporary inequality. 124 Most respondents described themselves as preparing f o r a l i f e profession focused on "empowering women," and many of them were aware of coming to t h i s out of t h e i r own experience of powerlessness i n the world—sometimes powerlessness which they had experienced i n t h e i r own families, i n t h e i r relationships with husbands. As counsellors and teachers, however, they were most interested i n f a c i l i t a t i n g power interactions which would lead to increased power for those who started o f f with less than them, and they acknowledged that, i n doing t h i s , they started a dynamic process which led to increased power for them as well as for the one they were f a c i l i t a t i n g . Respondents' attitudes to power were mixed, and the goal or purpose of power was the decisive factor here. For the most part, women expressed themselves as comfortable with power which was u t i l i z e d out of a desire to somehow help or support another i n d i v i d u a l . On the other hand, they f e l t extremely reluctant to p a r t i c i p a t e i n power which had, as i t s goal, the control or manipulation of another for " s e l f i s h " purposes. The following statement i s representative of respondents' attitudes about t h i s : I t depends on how the power i s used...that's the big thing...If i t ' s for f a c i l i t a t i v e , b e n e f i c i a l purposes....then, I'm fine with i t . But i f i t ' s that overpowering, manipulative, c o n t r o l l i n g s t u f f . . . I don't want to have anything to do with it...though I know i t goes on a l l the time. (E-61) This concern with the goal of power, and the respondent's emphasis that power use i s p o s i t i v e only insofar as i t takes care and connectedness within rel a t i o n s h i p into consideration was expressed repeatedly and strongly and i s consistent with the 125 feminist l i t e r a t u r e on women's approaches and attitudes toward power (Baker-Miller, 1986; G i l l i g a n , 1982; Janeway, 1980; Lips, 1991) . Some respondents expressed extreme discomfort with the idea of seeing themselves or projecting themselves as powerful. One of these women stated that she was w i l l i n g to c a l l h e r s e l f "strong," but not powerful. "To me, i t ' s (power) a scary word. I r e a l l y much prefer to use the word strength..like the inner strength, but I know there i s power out there, too" (E-37). She went on to say, "I guess...the connotation..that•s scary to me, i s the whole f e e l i n g of..being power... f e e l i n g powerless" (E-38). Consistent with Lips* (1991) assertion that fear of power comes out of the experience of powerlessness, many of the respondents c i t e d t h e i r own powerlessness as the experience out of which they approach power—in terms of both t h e i r aversion to power and t h e i r wish to work towards empowering women i n the world. In discussing women's attitudes toward power, one respondent noted that, "when women f e e l powerless they are r e a l l y nervous about power—they want to back away from i t " (C-47). Another aspect to t h i s expressed fear of power was revealed by women who f e l t t h e i r own powerfulness alienated them from other women. One respondent expressed her dilemma t h i s way: I t ' s strange to me, because I do f e e l very powerful., and i t ' s taken me years to get that. And I want that so much for other women...but my power w i l l often intimidate other women..and make them d i s l i k e me..which hurts me a l o t . (C-8) Although t h i s was not expressed as a general theme by respondents, one woman spoke of being a f r a i d that i f she was too 126 powerful, i n the sense of being responsible f o r her s e l f , she wouldn't get the love she wants. In t h i s case, i t was not women, but men, she feared to alienate. She expressed i t as follows: I'm a f r a i d . . t o allow..to allow my power..I'm a f r a i d that i f I..become as..overtly powerful as I..as I feel..the p o t e n t i a l for..that w i l l be to my detriment. ...I think that's true..for me...that i f I am powerful then I won't..I..nobody w i l l look a f t e r me. Nobody w i l l care for me..care..what should I say? Give me..love..I don't think i t ' s love..but..uhm..if I'm too powerful then I w i l l . . I w i l l push people away..(D-34) Later t h i s respondent commented that she used men so that she would not have to be responsible for he r s e l f . Her attitudes, here, may r e f l e c t G i l l i g a n ' s (1982) and Caplan's (1981) theories that women who have been s o c i a l l y conditioned to r e l y on men w i l l f i n d i t d i f f i c u l t to make t h e i r own choices i n l i f e , even when given the opportunity. C. Implications for Future Research M i l l e r (198 6) suggests that women coming out of high accomplishment or a sense of f i g h t i n g for a valuable cause w i l l f i n d i t easier to manifest power as authenticity i n the world. Since t h i s research was conducted with very well-educated, high achieving women—who also, for the most part, f e l t committed to work towards women's empowerment—and since conceptions of power are, l i k e a l l conceptions, c l o s e l y related to the life-experience of the respondents, one might expect that data from a les s " p r i v i l e g e d " group of women would reveal d i f f e r e n t conceptions and/or d i f f e r e n t perspectives or figure/ground f o c i i . Thus, i t 127 would be i n t e r e s t i n g to explore conceptions of power with women i n a v a r i e t y of l i f e s i t u a t i o n s . As noted, no data were c o l l e c t e d on men's conceptions of power, and thus no inferences can be made about men's understandings of t h i s phenomenon. Since much of the recent psychology of power research highlights gender-based differences i n power approaches and experience, i t seems that i t might be f r u i t f u l to investigate men's conceptions of power, with a view to confirming or disproving gender-based theories. Also, Kahn (1980) suggests that men's responses to women's movement toward greater power i s important as a determinant of the ease or d i f f i c u l t y with which women and men share power i n the world. Thus in v e s t i g a t i o n of women and men's conceptions of the meaning of power equity i s another d i r e c t i o n for research. D. Implications for Counselling This research on women's conceptions of power i s consistent with l i t e r a t u r e i n the area of women and psychology which suggests that: (a) women approach power issues from an orie n t a t i o n of care, r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and connectedness within r e l a t i o n s h i p and, (b) women, for a va r i e t y of reasons, may f e e l f e a r f u l or ambivalent about claiming power for themselves. I t seems that these issues have special implications for counselling women, p a r t i c u l a r l y when we consider the p r o b a b i l i t y of l i n k s between power, self-esteem, and depression (which are suggested i n the research data and the l i t e r a t u r e ) . 128 Self-esteem as a measure of how much we value ourselves and l i k e ourselves i s remarkably s i m i l a r to conceptions expressed by respondents i n t h i s study, of power as personal i n t e g r i t y and entitlement. Expressed t h i s way, power was seen as knowing oneself and f e e l i n g comfortable and whole with oneself. As entitlement, t h i s " l i k i n g oneself" extends to a recognition that one i s deserving of the human ri g h t s which we are a l l e n t i t l e d to. I t seems no accident that respondents not only saw t h i s "personal i n t e g r i t y " and sense of entitlement as power, they also saw i t , at times, as a "source" of a l l other conceptions of power. Thus, t h i s sense of personal connectedness and comfort with oneself fed into the a b i l i t y to: express oneself congruently i n the world; be aware of choices i n l i f e , and be capable of self-determination; g a i n f u l l y u t i l i z e one's personal and professional resources; gain respected standing among others; and move to influence others. Since, as pointed out above, women often f e e l devalued, as a group and as ind i v i d u a l s , i t may be d i f f i c u l t for women who have i n t e r n a l i z e d negative views of women to have p o s i t i v e s e l f -concepts and to f e e l powerful i n the world. Further to t h i s , and also discussed above, women as a group, have h i s t o r i c a l l y held l i t t l e power i n the world and, again, the r e s u l t of t h i s may be low self-esteem coupled with feelings of powerlessness. In the l a s t ten or f i f t e e n years there has been a focus by some counsellors, i n an e f f o r t to empower women and r a i s e t h e i r s e l f -esteem, on such issues as "dressing for success," "succeeding p r o f e s s i o n a l l y " and "assertiveness t r a i n i n g . " As recent 129 t h e o r i s t s have pointed out ( G i l l i g a n , 1982; Baker M i l l e r , 1986; McClelland, 1975), there i s a danger for women and a loss for men and society as a whole, i n simply adopting androcentric conceptions of what i s healthy or powerful. In merely adopting t r a d i t i o n a l power " s t y l e s " women deny, to the detriment of a l l , t h e i r o r i e n t a t i o n towards empathic connectedness with others. I t also seems to me, that assertiveness t r a i n i n g as a kind of " s k i l l s t r a i n i n g " for women may run the r i s k of minimizing the re a l issues at stake here and end i n merely being a "band-aid" s o l u t i o n for the core issue of feelings of powerlessness and low self-esteem i n women. This has been confirmed, informally, by t a l k i n g to colleagues who have commented that i n running assertiveness groups for women, they often see the same women returning, time a f t e r time, and making l i t t l e l a s t i n g gain. The respondents i n t h i s study give us a clue to t h i s by including assertiveness as an aspect of "power as expressing personal i n t e g r i t y . " In t h i s sense, assertiveness i s seen as acting or speaking out one's truth and values i n the world, and i t comes, of course, out of a woman's personal power—her sense of wholeness and her own innate worth—her " l i k i n g " h e r s e l f . On the other hand, a woman who doesn't have a strong sense of personal power, who doesn't l i k e h erself and f e e l a sense of entitlement, w i l l necessarily f i n d i t very d i f f i c u l t — f i r s t , to even r e a l l y "know" her s e l f well enough to recognize what she does want and need—second, to f e e l her entitlement to put that out i n the w o r l d — t h i r d , to recognize that i t i s possible to assert herself without being d i s r e s p e c t f u l or uncaring towards others, or 130 negating t h e i r r i g h t s and needs. Women with low self-esteem also have d i f f i c u l t y f e e l i n g powerful i n other ways. Feeling strong, competent, s e l f -determining, respected or i n f l u e n t i a l are a l l inconsistent with low self-esteem. Conversly, when, as Caplan (1984) and Bardwick (1976) suggest, women f e e l that l i f e i s beyond t h e i r c o n t r o l — that they have no choices or are incapable of making s e l f -enhancing choices i n t h e i r l i v e s — t h e y t r u l y f e e l t h e i r powerlessness, and thus may f e e l despondent or depressed. Recent research and theory suggests that depression i s , overwhelmingly, a woman's problem, with women being nearly twice as l i k e l y as men to experience depression (Bart, 1971; Weissman & Klerman, 1987). In t r e a t i n g depression i n women, i t i s important for counsellors to take into account, women's r e a l p o s i t i o n i n the world and i n society. The l i t e r a t u r e i n the area of psychology and power reviewed b r i e f l y above (Baker M i l l e r , 1986; G i l l i g a n , 1982; Lips, 1991; McClelland, 1975), as well as the research data i n t h i s study, suggest that for women, depression often comes out of an interplay between external factors such as loss, trauma and low s o c i e t a l status and int e r n a l factors such women's tendency to emphasize empathic connections with others, women's tendency to i n h i b i t t h e i r expression of anger and c o n f l i c t , and women's feelings of powerlessness to act. This l a t t e r factor, which seems to be a by-product of gender-role s o c i a l i z a t i o n for many women, has been termed "learned helplessness" (Seligman, 1974). Women who f e e l powerlessness i n t h e i r relationships as i n other aspects of t h e i r l i v e s , are also at r i s k i n terms of being 131 abused by others. Women who remain, for example, i n rela t i o n s h i p s with p h y s i c a l l y and emotionally abusive male partners, often at great danger to themselves, usually do so out of feelings of "deserving" the abuse and/or out of a lack of any sense that they have choices and could act i n ways to make l i f e better f o r themselves. I t i s important to note here that, i n r e a l i t y , women r e a l l y lack v i a b l e choices i n these s i t u a t i o n s . A woman, perhaps with children to care for, who may f i n d herself unable to land anything but a minimum-wage job, for example—and who might not be able to r e l y on community support or resources such as temporary shelter i n a "safe house," may f e e l , with good reason, that her options are very li m i t e d . Counsellors working with such women should be cognizant of the l i f e r e a l i t i e s that t h e i r c l i e n t s may be dealing with. Feelings of powerlessness are not reserved for women i n "desperate" s i t u a t i o n s . The respondents i n t h i s s t u d y — a group of r e l a t i v e l y p r i v i l e g e d , well-educated, achieving women—all spoke of t h e i r own experiences of f e e l i n g devalued and powerless, i n one way or another, i n t h e i r l i v e s , and connected that to t h e i r experience as women i n the world. Statements l i k e : "In my re l a t i o n s h i p with my ex-husband..I mean I was j u s t . . t o t a l l y made myself a door mat with him" (D-8); "We r e a l l y believe that we're only e n t i t l e d to the few crumbs that people throw us" (C-9); "Women have been s o c i a l i z e d to f e e l . . . . l e s s than, say men...women fi n d i t very d i f f i c u l t to acknowledge t h e i r strengths.... i t seems l i k e i t ' s something that's..arrogant or conceited..uhm..and that i t ' s not okay to do" (H-45); and (in discussing a s i t u a t i o n where 132 she f e l t that she couldn't do anything to move her l i f e i n a d i r e c t i o n she wanted to go), "I got very depressed...like I couldn't do anything" (E-38). In expressing t h e i r commitment to working, as counsellors, with other women, these women pointed to the empowerment of women as a primary therapeutic goal. Speaking of both t h e i r own experiences of power/powerlessness and also t h e i r work i n f a c i l i t a t i n g other women's empowerment through counselling, they emphasized the importance of a "double-faceted" awareness and emphasis i n counselling. One facet of t h i s focuses on the awareness that, women, because they are women, do experience devaluation and powerlessness i n our society. In understanding t h i s , women can begin to recognize that t h e i r feelings of low self-esteem, weakness and v u l n e r a b i l i t y , rather than pointing to something very wrong with them i n a personal sense, are a natural outcome of t h e i r gender-based s o c i a l i z a t i o n . In beginning to know that, i n some very important ways, i t i s not " t h e i r problem" alone, but one that a l l women, to some extent", share and—beyond t h i s — o n e that has important negative ramifications for men, also, and for society as a whole, women can perhaps begin to b u i l d the strength to move out of t h e i r powerlessness. The second facet of t h i s approach focuses on the in d i v i d u a l woman c l i e n t , and i n discussing t h e i r views of the goals and processes of counselling toward empowerment, i n t h i s personal sense, the respondents spoke of: the importance of valuing the c l i e n t , for who she i s — j u s t as she i s — w i t h i n the therapeutic relat i o n s h i p , and communicating that valuing to her; the importance of 133 i d e n t i f y i n g and a f f i r m i n g h e r o f t e n deva lued "womanly s t r e n g t h s " as s t r e n g t h and h e l p i n g he r r e a l i z e t h a t she does , i ndeed , have p e r s o n a l r e s o u r c e s which she can b u i l d on, and f o r which she can v a l u e h e r s e l f ; e x p l o r i n g the c h o i c e s which she does have i n he r l i f e ; and r e c o g n i z i n g t h a t , a l ong w i t h o t h e r s ' needs, he r own wants and needs a re impor tant and deserve t o be t aken i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n . Of c o u r s e , d i v e r s e s c h o o l s o f p sychotherapy and many d i f f e r e n t p s y c h o t h e r a p e u t i c t e c h n i q u e s a re v a l i d and u s e f u l i n work ing w i t h women (and men) on t h e i r i s s u e s — w h i c h a r e o f t e n , i n t h e end, r e l a t e d t o power. P e r s o n - c e n t e r e d the rapy i s s e n s i t i v e t o m o d e l l i n g e g a l i t a r i a n power r e l a t i o n s h i p through the c l i e n t -t h e r a p i s t r e l a t i o n s h i p and through the a t t i t u d e s o f t h e t h e r a p i s t . T h i s seems c o n s i s t e n t w i t h o p i n i o n s expre s sed by re spondent s i n t h i s s tudy around the t h e r a p e u t i c importance o f r e s p e c t , congruence, and f a c i l i t a t i n g p e r s o n a l power i n o t h e r s . I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o no te , i n t h i s r e g a r d , t h a t the c l i n i c s u p e r v i s o r o f t h i s group, worked out o f an open " p e r s o n - c e n t e r e d " model , and t h a t most o f the c o u n s e l l o r s - i n - t r a i n i n g , spoke i n our c o n v e r s a t i o n s , about f e e l i n g p e r s o n a l l y v a l i d a t e d and empowered by t h i s woman's approach. Comments l i k e : Oh! I t was a t r e a t ! Because s h e . . w e l l . . t h e r e w a s . . t h e r e s p e c t t h a t I was t r e a t e d w i t h . Which i s not a lways the case when y o u ' r e a ( s t u d e n t ) . B e c a u s e . . o f c o u r s e , y o u ' r e one down. Y o u ' r e l e a r n i n g how t o do i t , as w e l l . . . a n d she never made me f e e l l i k e . . m y p o i n t o f v iew was i r r e l e v a n t o r wrong. A n d . . s h e ' d l e t me know when s h e ' d l e a r n e d something new from me. Which a g a i n . , empowers y o u . . . A n d , I t h i n k i t c r e a t e d a r e a l l y s a f e environment t h a t way. (C-4) She h a s . . s h e ' s had t h e power, c e r t a i n l y , t o . . t o . . u h m . . . through he r m o d e l l i n g . . . t o . . . o f . . f a c i l i t a t e us h a v i n g r e a l l y r e s p e c t e d each o t h e r . . . . b e c a u s e she ha s . . I 134 t r u l y believe she has respected us..as individuals..um..and even though she has been..she's had the r o l e of..of a supervisor, she has treated us as equals. Even though we are i n the learning process..(H-27) Carl Rogers (1961, 1977, 1980) stressed the importance of the therapeutic r e l a t i o n s h i p — s p e c i f i c a l l y , the a b i l i t y of therapists to communicate unconditional p o s i t i v e regard for t h e i r c l i e n t s , to be congruent i n t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p s , and to t r u s t the c l i e n t s ' own innate p o t e n t i a l for growth i n d i r e c t i o n s that are important and v a l i d for them. He points our that i n not seeking, i n any way, control over a c l i e n t ' s responses or way of being, and i n permitting oneself to be as one i s , the therapist f a c i l i t a t e s the discovery of t h i s same freedom i n the c l i e n t . Rogers (1977) said: By l i s t e n i n g to the feelings within, the c l i e n t reduces the power others have had i n inculcating g u i l t s and fears and i n h i b i t i o n s , and i s slowly extending the understanding of, and control over, s e l f . As the c l i e n t i s more acceptant of s e l f , the p o s s i b i l i t y of being i n command of s e l f becomes greater and greater. The c l i e n t possesses he r s e l f to a degree that has never occurred before. The sense of power i s growing, (p. 12) Feminist and non-sexist approaches to counselling seem p a r t i c u l a r l y v a l i d i n working with women around power issues. These approaches are valuable, among other things, i n that they apply a p o l i t i c a l / s o c i a l analysis to the issues which c l i e n t s are struggling with. The main therapeutic technique which we might s p e c i f i c a l l y see as a feminist counselling intervention i s conscious and ongoing sex-role analysis (Rawlings & Carter, 1977; Russell, 1984) which involves bringing to the c l i e n t ' s attention, relevant sex-role expectations which may be operating f o r them i n the s p e c i f i c l i f e - s i t u a t i o n s they f i n d themselves working i n , and 135 i n encouraging the c l i e n t to make an aware analysis of the costs and benefits of f u l f i l l i n g "feminine" r o l e expectations. Rawlings and Carter (1977) discuss the assumptions of feminist therapy, which they see as including: (a) an acknowledgement of the power d i f f e r e n t i a l s i n our society, between men and women, and a focus on s o c i a l rather than b i o l o g i c a l factors to explain women's les s e r power and status, (b) a focus on s o c i e t a l and environmental stress as a major source of unhealth (c) a concommitant weight on in d i v i d u a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i n terms of the necessity of personal action towards empowerment, and (d) knowing that other women are not the enemy (and men are not always the enemy, e i t h e r ) . Beyond t h i s , i n t h e i r approaches to therapy, feminist therapists may hold as goals: (a) being e x p l i c i t about t h e i r own v a l u e s — p a r t i c u l a r l y regarding women's roles , (b) as much as possible, equalizing personal power between the c l i e n t and therapist, (c) encouraging self-determination i n women, along with r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and care for others, (d) role-modelling e f f e c t i v e , healthy behaviour, and (e) working with c l i e n t s toward personal power—i.e. knowing and valuing themselves as unique beings. Feminist therapists view t h e i r own engagement i n s o c i a l / p o l i t i c a l action as consistent with t h e i r desire to treat the disease (our p o l i t i c a l / s o c i a l system), rather than j u s t the symptom (the distressed i n d i v i d u a l ) , and they often encourage s o c i a l action on the part of t h e i r c l i e n t s . 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The purpose of the study i s to learn more about the ways women see power operating i n t h e i r r e lationships with other women I am aware that the study i s being c a r r i e d out by Carol Wilson, a graduate student i n Counselling Psychology at U.B.C., and I have attended a short class lecture/discussion on the purpose and design of the research. Further information i s available through Carol, who can be reached at I understand that I am agreeing to p a r t i c i p a t e i n a private, audio-taped interview and to answer two b r i e f questionnaires (one focusing on biographical information to be completed at the time of the interview; the other focusing on my experience of p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the project to be completed within two weeks af t e r the interview); my t o t a l time investment i n t h i s project w i l l be 2 hours, maximum. I know that data for the study w i l l not be i d e n t i f i e d by name and that a l l information I may give w i l l remain anonymous and c o n f i d e n t i a l . I also understand that my p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h i s project i s e n t i r e l y voluntary and that I may refuse to p a r t i c i p a t e or withdraw at any time without fear that such re f u s a l or withdrawal w i l l , i n any way, jeopardize my class standing i n CNPS 588 or any other course. I have been assured that r e s u l t s of t h i s study w i l l be shared with me, i f I so wish, upon completion of the project. My signature below acknowledges my consent to p a r t i c i p a t e i n the research project; i t also acknowledges my receipt of a copy of t h i s consent form. Signature Date Student's Name (please print) 146 Appendix B Questionnaire A l l information i s completely anonymous and c o n f i d e n t i a l . We would appreciate i t i f you would complete every question. 1. Age 2. Education: Highest degree achieved to date: I am an M.A. student M. Ed. student Doctoral student 3. Please l i s t any organizations or informal groups to which you belong. 4. How many of these groups include both men and women as members? 5. How many of these groups are all-women groups? 6. Name any other all-woman group to which you have belonged i n the past. 7. How often do you attend functions related to: The mixed group(s) The all-women group(s) 8. How do you understand the term feminist? Please give a b r i e f , personal explanation. 9. Do you consider yourself a feminist? Yes No 147 Appendix C Post-Interview Questionnaire A l l information i s anonymous and c o n f i d e n t i a l . Please keep your responses as concise as possible. However, i f you require more space, use the other side of t h i s sheet. 1. What was i t l i k e for you to discuss your experiences with me? 2. What impact, i f any, did our conversation(s) have on you? (Your thoughts, ideas, feelings, attitudes, behaviour, etc.) On your group? Please be s p e c i f i c . 3. I f you were t e l l i n g a f r i e n d about t h i s research and our conversation(s), would you recommend that she p a r t i c i p a t e ? Please explain your answer i n concrete terms. 4. Have you any other comments or suggestions regarding our conversation(s) i n l i g h t of your experience? 148 Appendix D Transcript Typescript Notation 1. Nonlexical expressions such as "humm," "ah," "uhm" are included. 2. False s t a r t s and re p e t i t i o n s of word or parts of words are retained. 3. Unclear speech i s enclosed i n parentheses. 4. Laughter or obvious changes i n pi t c h , stress, volume or rate are noted i n parentheses. 5. Hesitations and pauses are indicated by the use of periods. Each period corresponds to approximately one second of s i l e n c e . For example: would indicate a 6 second pause. 6. Interruptions and overlaps between speakers are noted with a left-had square bracket at the beginning of the interrupting speaker's words. 149 Appendix E Synonyms and Antonyms for Power Synonyms Antonyms S e l f - a c t u a l i z a t i o n passive self-awareness aggressive self-confidence d e b i l i t a t i o n self-esteem helplessness self-acceptance doormat se l f - r e s p e c t authority being female deviousness being male bigotry love sexism respect weakness/weak courage avoidance strength tiredness/exhaustion personal strength i n e f f e c t u a l i t y centred i n s i g n i f i c a n c e fairness i r r e l e v a n t f l e x i b i l i t y paralyzed q u a l i t y victimized independence hopeless inner strength trapped r e s p o n s i b i l i t y l o s t energy a follower emotional strength being controlled control f e e l i n g closed i n being i n control imprisoned having choices helplessness assertiveness soul opportunity comfort s e l f courage 150 Appendix F Results of Independent Judge R e l i a b i l i t y Tests Table 1 Independent Judges' Categorization of Conceptions Conception # Possible number Judges' number Agreement of placements of correct placements as % 1. 25 24 96% 24 96% l a . 3 3 100% 3 100% 2. 40 38 95% 39 98% 3. 16 16 100% 15 94% 4. 29 29 100% 27 93% 5. 22 21 95% 19 86% 6. 106 103 97% 104 98% TOTAL 241 234 97% 231 96% 

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