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ERIC Number: EJ815567
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 42
ISSN: ISSN-0954-0253
Gender Roles and the American Academe: A Case Study of Graduate Student Mothers
Lynch, Karen Danna
Gender and Education, v20 n6 p585-605 Nov 2008
Studies have found that motherhood is significantly associated with attrition for female graduate students in the United States. Few, however, have examined this phenomenon from the point of view of current students. Utilizing data from 30 in-depth interviews with student mothers from a number of academic fields, this study details both the structural environments and the socio-cultural constructs that affect the women's daily experiences. The data highlight the fact that the symbolic nature of both roles--mother and student--is often in conflict with the structural elements around which each role is performed. Student mothers confront this dilemma through a number of strategic practices including "maternal invisibility", "academic invisibility", luck, and reliance on the more traditional means of economic and emotional support that come from spouses and parents. In detailing these practices, the study offers both important clues about the factors that may contribute to attrition for graduate student mothers as well as suggestions for institutional improvement. (Contains 5 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A