This edited book collection disrupts received notions of educational leadership, culture and diversity as currently portrayed in practice and theory. It draws on compelling studies of educational leadership from the global north and south, as well as from a range of ethnic, religious and gendered perspectives and critical research approaches. In so doing, the book powerfully challenges contemporary leadership discourses of diversity that reproduce essentialising leadership practices, binary divisions and asymmetrical power relations. The various chapters contest and move beyond exhortations for leadership in increasingly diverse societies; revealing through their rich portraits of the hybridity of leadership practice, the shallowness of diversity discourses that are framed as something "we" (the culturally homogenous) leader do to (heterogenous) ‘others’.
The volume is more than critique. Instead it offers readers new directions and possibilities through which to understand, theorise and practise educational leadership in the twenty first century. In portraying leading as a "relational practice in contexts of cultural hybridity" (Blackmore, this volume), it extends critical theories for and of leadership practice, examining the intersectionality between leadership and a range of social categories, and challenging notions of leadership as a singular construct. Compelling research narratives reveal educational leadership practice as nuanced, temporal, site specific and prefigured by traditions and cultural understandings that reach beyond a simplification of educational leadership as understood through unitary lenses of race, gender or ethnicity.
This book is essential reading for academics and students of educational leadership and management, as well as administrators.