Cotextual Analysis of Married Women Returning to School: Practical Lessons for school Adminstration

Document Type : Mixed Method Research Paper


1 دانشجوی دکتری جامعه‌شناسی، دانشکده علوم اجتماعی، دانشگاه علامه طباطبائی، تهران، ایران

2 دانشیار جامعه‌شناسی، گروه پژوهشگری اجتماعی، دانشکده علوم اجتماعی، دانشگاه علامه طباطبائی، تهران، ایران

3 استاد گروه مددکاری اجتماعی، دانشکده علوم اجتماعی، دانشگاه علامه طباطبائی، تهران، ایران

4 دانشیار گروه مطالعات زنان، دانشکده علوم اجتماعی، دانشگاه علامه طباطبائی، تهران، ایران


This study aimed to identify the social and cultural motivations affecting the return of married women to school by consecutive exploratory mixed method (qualitative by thematic analysis and quantitative by causal-comparative method). Education and employment, as the most important areas of the new identity experience, provide the ground for cultural and identity changes, and women choose new identities to adapt and define a different identity from others to adapt to the social environment. . At the same time, the individual, family and traditional expectations of society from women have defined them more in maternal and marital plans, and new contexts have added different expectations to the new plans. This study focuses on a specific group of women. Women who for any reason have dropped out of school (dropped out) and entered a new phase of their lives (marriage), but after marriage and experience different conditions for each (continuation of cohabitation / divorce / death of spouse / divorce) / Suspension), have chosen the path to return to school. This group of women is known in the conventional educational management literature as Non-Traditional students. This group of women, especially in Iran, is unknown in many ways, even in educational management circles; they are considered as adults only and are judged under the influence of common stereotypes.
This research is applied in terms of purpose and descriptive-analytical in terms of type with an exploratory approach. The present study is an adaptation of the typology presented by Creswell (2004) of the type of consecutive mixed exploratory research in which first qualitative research with thematic analysis technique and then based on its results, quantitative method causal-post-event comparisons with the criterion group. The paradigmatic approach of the present study (in the qualitative part) is the interpretive constructivism approach. Interpretiveism in general is the systematic analysis of socially meaningful action through the direct detailed observation of people in natural contexts. In the qualitative section with 36 women returning to education, data were collected by purposeful sampling with theoretical saturation criterion and semi-structured interview and were analyzed with Walcott approach. Based on the results of qualitative interviews conducted with 36 married / returned women and considering the nature and objectives of research in the quantitative sector, the theoretical framework supporting the research hypotheses in the quantitative sector is a combination of Giddens' rethinking theory, field and space theory of Bourdieu, social theories of inequality (especially Max Weber), feminist theories, and the theory of resilience. In the quantitative part of the base statistical population, all married women returned to education in Tehran, 426 of whom were selected using multistage cluster sampling. An equal number (426) were selected using a matched cohort of non-returning educated women. To determine the validity of structural validity using confirmatory factor analysis test (in Amos software) and to determine the reliability of internal consistency coefficient (Cronbach's alpha) in SPSS software was used which based on the results, validity and reliability of the tool for all The main variables of the research were within the acceptable range. For quantitative analysis, ordinary and conditional dual logistic regression tests were used.
A qualitative analysis of the main themes of the "strategy of searching for possible selves to balance different aspects of life" is presented. This basic theme is the result of the interaction of its two main and self-contained categories, which comprise nine subcategories. It can be said that positive and negative motivational mechanisms in their core category of self can lead women to choose a new career path. At the same time, the beginning and the continuation of this path in the lives of women is also based on other axes called ex-self, which has its own complexities and always puts women in a series of social interactions. Finally, these results are presented as social, cultural and economic factors and have been used in a small part of research. According to the final thematic map, women create the context for returning to school as a possible self-search through an interactive and fluid process over time, and to reduce imbalances due to the failure to meet needs, expectations and goals. They choose the two-way path of education / employment as ways of self-realization. In completing and theoretically comparing this thematic map with others, the views on the formation of social identity and individual identity can be reflected; Content perspectives and personality processes to reduce internal tensions; and pondered biological theories for growth and prosperity. The results of the investigation of the main hypothesis of the study showed that all the independent variables included in the model were able to predict the probability of the dependent variable returning to education of married women and their ability to predict the error was less than 0.01. On the other hand, among the variables, the variable of awareness with the parent statistic value (78.56) is the most capable of predicting the dependent variable of return to education in married women, and the variables of resilience and social status in the next important categories. They are the best predictors.
What we call the main theme of this study, the strategy of searching for possible selves to balance different areas of life, is the result of achieving analytical results from interviews with the women studied. A strategy through which women are experiencing multiple identity spaces and consequently finding desirable selves / unfulfilled selves and possible selves. This modernist strategy has found meaning for women, which has led to their multifaceted presence and social participation in various fields. This strategy shapes women's actions not only in the individual space, but also in the larger social and cultural contexts. Women, as creative activists, reflect on their thoughts through processes of mental dynamics in line with the rapid changes in the world of modernity, and reflect their attitudes by renewing the powers of knowledge and insight. Society, on the other hand, presents the image of education as a regulated social reality that can be considered as part of one's individual identity. Therefore, choosing education as a way to define individual and social identity will not be unexpected. Women use social experiences to build their own self-organization and return to the social sphere by inventing ways to achieve themselves. This innovation and rethinking of education paves the way for women to enter the field of employment by continuing their education.


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