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Continuity and change : a study of how women cope with the transition to professional programmes of higher education

Johnson, Sally Elaine (1997) Continuity and change : a study of how women cope with the transition to professional programmes of higher education. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

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    The aims of the present study were to investigate how women manage the transition to
    professional programmes of higher education and to identify what might assist and hinder
    their coping. Initial conceptualisations were based on an assumption that there would be an
    interaction between the different spheres in which the women operate; the private, the
    professional and higher education. The literature reveals a preoccupation with either
    psychological or social factors but there is a lack of theory which integrates these and
    'solutions' put forward, aimed at assisting women in education, are broad and general.

    The investigation took place in a School of a British University where the professional
    areas chosen were social work and health care education. A feminist ethnographic approach
    using multiple methods of data collection was taken. However, as the central focus was an
    investigation of subjective accounts a phenomenological perspective was adopted and the
    methods used were mainly qualitative. The investigation took place over two phases,
    covering the period of transition to programmes over two consecutive years.

    The overarching theme to emerge is the importance of continuities in terms of what women
    'bring' from the private sphere and their professional context. Aspects of these continuities
    were found to centrally impinge upon the women's sense of who they are and their current
    situation, and arise from their social situation. Higher education does not always recognise
    the importance of these continuities. The private sphere, the professional Context and
    higher education are conceptualised as 'greedy institutions', with competing demands and
    value bases. It is the movement between these contexts which causes problems for women.
    An integrative framework based largely on Breakwell's (1986) theory of coping with
    threatened identity is developed. The framework is extended to include a feminist analysis
    of the social context in order to understand the women's coping. Specific suggestions are
    put forward to assist mature women students 'manage' the transition.

    Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
    Thesis advisorRobson,
    Thesis advisorMilner, Judith
    Additional Information: EThOS Persistent ID
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Mature women students, Social work, Health care, Education, Psychology, Sociology, Human services
    Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
    H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
    L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC5201 Education extension. Adult education. Continuing education
    H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
    Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences
    Depositing User: Graham Stone
    Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2009 17:15
    Last Modified: 28 Jul 2010 19:37


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