Communication ETDs

Publication Date



This institutional ethnography on tenured academic women focused on how twenty women talked about success. The purpose of this study was to use the discourse of tenured academic women to illustrate social interactions that constitute and transform the ruling relations. Institutional ethnography, a feminist methodology, inherently explores where communicative text provides insight into the larger structures of the ruling relations that govern, educate, train and inform. The information provided by tenured academic women, through in-depth one-on-one interviews and participant observation illuminated the fluid power dynamics of academic women in the gendered discursive organization of the academy. The women respondents described their attainment of tenure and rank, and how this influenced their social relations both within the university and outside. Using feminist standpoint theory and critical theory, a feminist discourse was used to highlight the collective insights that this group of academics provided into a more thorough examination of higher education.




Organizational Studies, Intercultural communication, organizational communication, feminist, Higher education, Academic women

Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Communication and Journalism

First Advisor

Lutgen-Sandvik, Pamela

First Committee Member (Chair)

Hood, Jaqueline N.

Second Committee Member

Gandert, Miguel

Third Committee Member

Rodriguez, Ilia