A Negotiation of Prudence and Pride: An Examination of Lesbian Teachers' Perceptions and Definitions of Safety

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Best, Victoria
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The purpose of this work was to study the lives of six lesbian teachers in Nova Scotia to better understand how their perceptions of safety affect their daily existence as educators. As a result of feeling unsafe, some lesbian teachers fracture their lives into public and private spheres where social practices contribute to their isolation, silence, and marginalization. Central to understanding these phenomena was an exploration of how hegemonic, patriarchal norms are reproduced in the school system. The goal of this research was to lend a voice to often silenced women and provide them with an opportunity to validate their experiences while recognizing their existence and identity. The participants were selected using a snowball sampling method where they partook in semi-structured interviews. Under the central theme of safety, these interviews focused on the women's professional experiences, relationships within the school community, their position as role models, and the areas most requiring change in the education system. The data collection process employed a phenomenological research strategy using open, descriptive, and analytical coding. The data analysis was informed from a position of critical feminist theory while employing discourse and conversational analysis.
Schools , Identity , Security measures , Nova Scotia , Lesbian teachers -- Nova Scotia -- Attitudes , Lesbian teachers -- Nova Scotia -- Psychology