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Title: Organisational aspects of women's centres
Author: Brown, M. Helen
ISNI:       0000 0001 3497 4434
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1986
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This thesis investigates the nature of organising activity in women's centres. Such organising activity occurs within the cultural context of the women's movement. Specifically here the importance of non-hierarchical organisation is identified. Examination of the related literature shows that the processes by which non-hierarchical organisation is constructed have received little attention; in this research descriptions of non—hierarchical organisation as 'spontaneous' or 'natural ' are challenged. The research design is in accordance with recent developments in organisational analysis which argue for the importance of identifying connectable vertical (synchronic) and horizontal (processual) components. The vertical components in this study are the values of the women's movement which are shown to inform both a preferred mode of conduct and a desired end state of existence. The horizontal components are provided by two long term participant observation studies of women's centres. Additional supportive data is provided by three short case studies. The research methodology challenges some existing notions of the nature of interviewing and of participant observation, and it is argued that, where a strong value for equality exists in the research locations, the research procedures must reflect this value. The negotiative processes which are involved in constructing non-hierarchical organisation are detailed and discussed. Specifically these processes make demands on the organising skills of participants, and are undertaken in contexts where the endeavour rarely receives full legitimation. It is also shown that the arenas in which these negotiative processes occur are variable with respect to the particular structural configurations which pertain at a given time. Particular difficulties are shown to arise in the case of women's centres where the need to manage a situation of 'open participation' makes further demands on participants. It is concluded that it is inadequate to characterise the processes examined as 'spontaneous'; they are inherently 'political' and hence negotiated.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor ; HQ The family. Marriage. Woman ; HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare