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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Formation of Professional Identity at the New Silver Street Kindergarten, 1883

  • Author(s): Adams, Kathleen
  • et al.

This study focuses on the linguistic strategies utilized by women of the 19th century kindergarten movement in the United States to establish a professional identity within a dominant discourse of separate spheres based on gender. This project takes the form of a case study of the Silver Street Kindergarten in San Francisco and is based on an annual report that records a transitional moment where practitioners took control of the organization by introducing their emerging professional identity to the kindergarten discourse community. Through discourse analysis I demonstrate how the practitioners established themselves and their burgeoning organization, the New Silver Street Kindergarten Society, as a socially and professionally competent member of the discourse community, creating a space “between spheres” wherein they could practice their profession.

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