Degree Granting Department
Elizabeth E. Bell, Ph.D.
Jane Jorgenson, Ph.D.
Action, Needs, Change, Choice, Role discrepancy
This study examines the experiences and perceptions of graduate students who are mothers. Based on discourse analysis, one-on-one interviews, and focus groups, this study argues that institutional discourses and practices place graduate students who are mothers in untenable and irreconcilable positions between "mom" and "student," between "family" and "the academy," between "self" and "success." These irreconcilable differences are created in discourse, enacted in institutional policies, and lived by the participants. The study offers action-based alternatives to the status quo policies of the university based on the self-described needs of these women. It reveals that support from all fronts--the home, the institution, departments--is instrumental in altering the discourse of exclusion and inadequacy to one of inclusion and adequacy.
Scholar Commons Citation
Williams, Shirlan A., "Graduate students/mothers negotiating academia and family life:: Discourses, experiences, and alternatives" (2007). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.