The Illusion of Inclusion: Women in Post-Secondary Education
Ashley Thomson is a full librarian at Laurentian University and co-editor or co-author of nine books, most recently Margaret Atwood: A Reference Guide, 1988-2005.
The central thesis of this book is that women continue to be
discriminated against at the post-secondary level. Some chapters use
questionable methodology to build their case. For example, a survey out
of Brock University by Judith Blackwell involved only 18 undergraduates.
Another by Vande Jane Vezina was based on the opinions of 20 women
enrolled in various master’s programs “at a southwestern Ontario
university.” How representative could those samples be? Yet the book
also includes stories of frontline experiences—most notably Eunice
Marie Fisher Lavell’s “On the Road to Find Out: Everyday Advice for
Working Class Mothers Returning to School”—that succeed in
persuading the reader that there really is an illusion of inclusion in
postsecondary education. A final chapter titled “Creating the
Women-Friendly University” provides an excellent checklist for those
seeking positive change.