ERIC Number: ED270696
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Nov-8
Reference Count: 0
What's a Nice Woman Like Me Doing in a Doctoral Program? Reinterpreting Our Life Experiences.
Stryker, Eileen; And Others
The human qualities which are valued in American society are different from, and sometimes construed as opposite to, the qualities deemed desirable in women. This values conflict provided the impetus for a study of women doctoral students. Twenty women who were pursuing doctoral degrees in educational leadership or counseling psychology at one university were interviewed about the conflicts faced by women pursuing an education. The structure of the study was organized around four dichotomies that recur in discussions of women's psychological development: (1) separation versus attachment; (2) domination versus subordination; (3) activity versus passivity; and (4) unidimensional versus multidimensional causality. Subjects were asked about the doctoral experience, how they felt about being a doctoral student, and how they felt the experience was different for women than for men. Respondents discussed conflicts they experienced in areas of achievement, relationships, competence, normalcy, empowerment, and differences. Data from the interviews revealed that, in pursuing the doctoral degree, women face both internal and institutional problems. Internal problems involve issues of competence, role ambiguity, and role overload. Institutional problems also deal with role ambiguity and with role conflict. The coping strategies of reactive role behavior, personal role redefinition, and structural role redefinition are considered for accommodation or for change of conflicting role expectations. (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Woman Researcher Conference (Kalamazoo, MI, November 8, 1985).