Success and Gender (Impostor Edition)

Recently blogged about gender and success in the context of my friend Vali’s movie about Tupperware ladies being shown at the trendy Ex-Centris movie theater. This movie is now being broadcast on both cable and network television, in French and English. Vali’s is a successful story, whether or not she realizes it.

Gender and success are also associated in what is commonly called the “impostor syndrome” (also spelled “imposter syndrome,” henceforth “IS”).

Introduction of the Imposter Syndrome

People in different professions such as teachers, people in the social sciences, people in academia, actresses and actors, may all have imposter feelings. It was originally associated with women but recent research indicated that men suffer in similar numbers.

This phenomenon affects achievers and successful people of either gender but the original 1978 study was done by women with women as a target group. As is often the case (for instance, in “hedging” speech patterns), it seems that academics (both men and women) behave in a way reminiscent of socially mobile women.
There surely are research papers on the parallels between academia and gender in relation to IS. But IS is felt in daily life, which academics tend to keep secret.

As with the gender revolution a while ago, the time for academics to speak out is now.

About enkerli

French-speaking ethnographer, homeroaster, anthropologist, musician, coffee enthusiast. View all posts by enkerli

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: