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|Title:||Women's experiences of social support as adult learners in an Australian community college|
|Author(s):||Williams, Eric Thomas George|
|Doctoral Committee Chair(s):||Kozoll, Charles|
|Department / Program:||Education, Adult and Continuing
|Discipline:||Education, Adult and Continuing
|Degree Granting Institution:||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
|Subject(s):||Education, Adult and Continuing
|Abstract:||Although women make up a substantial number of students studying at Australian community colleges, little research has been conducted on their experiences. The purpose of this study was to investigate how women sole parents experienced the social support they received as adult learners in an Australian community college.
The research questions were focused on identifying the women's personal, vocational, and academic goals set within the context of their personal biographies; critically examining the problems the women faced in achieving their goals; analyzing the types of social support the women used to overcome their problems; and the judgements the women made about such support.
Interpretive interactionism was the qualitative research methodology used to investigate, analyze, and interpret the women's experience of social support.
The findings showed that the women's primary goal for enrolling in the course was to achieve greater financial security by reentering the workforce with a college qualification. Other goals included providing a better future for their children, demonstrating their personal ability, and finding a challenging and interesting job.
During the course the women experienced a number of problems related to their academic abilities, their roles as mother and student, and the effects of the course on their relationships with their families and friends.
Through the process of interpretive interactionism, the situational, interactional, and relational features of the social support the women experienced were identified. It was found that social support for the women comprised; tangible help, sharing experiences and feelings, showing concern and understanding, providing advice, and giving encouragement.
From the women's perspective the various features of social support were experienced in a particular pattern, which was different according to whether the support was provided by family or friends.
The final part of the analysis depicts and critically examines how the various features of social support were molded, shaped, and experienced differently by the women in their daily lives.
|Rights Information:||Copyright 1994 Williams, Eric Thomas George|
|Date Available in IDEALS:||2011-05-07|
|Identifier in Online Catalog:||AAI9512595|