The Male Librarian and the Feminine Image: A Survey of Stereotype, Status, and Gender Perceptions

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
James V. Carmichael, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Although the literature of librarianship is replete with personality studies, which purport to link the psychological characteristics of librarians with problems of stereotype, professional image, professional status, and occupational prestige, most assume that the only negative Image is that associated with the female stereotype. Only rarely have feminist studies challenged the assumptions upon which such claims are based, due to the fact that men's studies in the field have been virtually nonexistent. This article reports the results of a survey of male librarians relating to the existence and nature of the male professional stereotype, and the impact of social expectations and gender-related work issues on the attitudes of male library and information professionals. Because male librarians are rarely studied as men, it was necessary to design an exploratory instrument. Although categorically ranked responses provided indicators of general attitudes towards gender-status issues, open-ended comments revealed a greater diversity of attitudes than had been previously supposed. The study illumines an unexplored area of research in the field, and establishes the need for further qualitative research in the area of gender studies in librarianship.

Additional Information

Library and Information Science Research 14: 411-46.
Language: English
Date: 1992
Librarianship, Gender roles, Image, Stereotype, Perception

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