ERIC Number: ED438743
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Nov
Advocates, Barriers, and Responses: The Personal Narratives of Nine Female Doctoral Students.
Fordon, Ann E.
This qualitative study provides a detailed account of the experiences of nine female doctoral students through an analysis of their personal narratives. The nine students, attending two large Midwestern public universities, volunteered to share personal narratives; all were working toward doctorates in various fields and were at various stages in their programs. The women spoke at length about educational barriers they faced (those of culture, status, and gender), and their responses to these barriers; but they also acknowledged the support received from educational advocates (friends, colleagues, family members, and teachers) who recognized and encouraged their academic abilities. Cultural barriers occurred when the belief system or practices of a country or institution limited the women's education and professional pursuits; status barriers occurred when an individual with a recognized higher status interfered with a woman's educational pursuit; six of the women also reported negative gender experiences. The women's responses to these barriers included: resistance, expressed by avoidance, confrontation, and/or perseverance; creating supportive collegial environments; participating in departmental activities; and stressing the importance of education to their own students as a way of re-creating support they had received from their advocates. In conclusion, the paper asks whether existing barriers for women seeking academic careers can be identified and eliminated. (Contains 22 references.) (CH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A