Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Hagerman, Margaret Ann

Committee Member

Allison, Rachel

Committee Member

Kelly, Kimberly C.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only



Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Sociology


It has long been established that women play unique roles within schools, volunteerism, and school-based community work (Griffith and Smith 2005; Calarco 2020; Lewis and Diamond 2015; Posey-Maddox 2014). Additionally, research suggests that the work done surrounding the institution of education primarily falls on mothers (Griffith and Smith 2005; Haley-Lock and Posey-Maddox 2016; Lareau 2000; Lareau 2011). However, little research has been done that explores how gender dynamics play out in education activism that lies outside of schools. This study seeks to understand how women view gendered expectations of mothering work in regard to education and if/how they perceive that work in relation to their political activism. This study aids in better understanding how activists perceive the roots of their activist work and provide insights about political activism surrounding education. As activism surrounding education can greatly contribute to achieving a more just and equitable society, this work is crucial for scholarship seeking to understand the activists attempting to change our education system.