Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Gender, power and discourse : a critical examination of commerical aviation and the experiences of women pilots
Author: Davey, Caroline
ISNI:       0000 0004 2692 5941
Awarding Body: University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 1996
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
In response to the limitations of previous approaches to work, gender and change, a poststructural feminist approach was adopted to investigate commercial aviation and the experiences of women pilots working within a large international airline based in Europe. The data was collected from in-depth interviews with 67 airline staff (including 23 women pilots), participant and non-participant observation and written documentation on the aviation industry. The study aimed to critically examine the difficulties faced by women pilots working within commercial aviation. The intention was not simply to confirm problems encountered by women working within male-dominated environments and present recommendations to management, but to identify the location of future developments in equal opportunities. The findings show that commercial aviation continues to be dominated by masculine values and practices which result in the earlier stages of pilots' careers being treated as a rites of passage. The stressful and unsupportive atmosphere created problems for male and female pilots, but the difficulties were exacerbated for women by sexism, high visibility and isolation. In contrast to male pilots, women also had to prove their competence during subsequent checks, courses and flights. The thesis summarises the recommendations made to management, but demonstrates the limited potential for improving the conditions encountered by women pilots through conventional equal opportunities policies and other management initiatives. It also highlights the problems of relying on professional women who are in a minority to promote equal opportunities. I conclude that future feminist research on gender should focus on women who are in a position to challenge existing discourses and target recommendations at women's groups, unions etc., rather than management.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Not available Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available