Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Educational institutions are places permeated with the dominant social ideology and are sites for social reproduction; that is, the American school socially reproduces the white, male heteronormativity of the American public life. These dominant institutions perpetuate privilege for some, but not for others who are not represented in the dominant discourse. At times rendered invisible and private inside the school, a lesbian educator, may, in fact, be visible and public outside the school. There is a paucity of research on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) educators, yet queer educators exist in the school setting in which a "don't ask don't tell" mentality prevails. By framing non-normative personal lives as something that should not be shared in the school setting with children, a public/private binary is formed for oppression to continue. This study will focus on this private versus public dichotomy and research the following: How do lesbian educators reinforce and/or resist the dominant ideology of the American school as they negotiate their private lives and their public lives? How does the school institution influence lesbian educators' lives in this negotiation? A mixed method approach was utilized, with an online survey providing descriptive statistics and an online focus group and individual interviews providing insight into the lives of six lesbian educators.

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Creative Commons License
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