This introductory chapter discusses the contents of this volume which is about elementary school principals in suburban school districts in the U.S. The data used in this study are the result of face-to-face interviews with principals in the Chicago, Illinois area conducted in 1980 and a telephone follow-up in 1988. The specific topics explored in this volume include the authority system in which elementary principals occupy both subordinate and superordinate statuses, the positive and negative sentiments of principals about their work, and changes in the profession that may affect the future work of elementary school principals.
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