Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Adult Education and Human Resource Development

First Advisor's Name

Thomas Reio, Jr

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Joanne Sanders-Reio

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Dawn Addy

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Mido Chang

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Date of Defense

6-30-2015

Abstract

Unlike its childhood counterpart, adult and continuing education is a voluntary activity, where adult learners partake in educational programs for the sake of realizing some explicit or implicit goal. The purpose of this study was to explore the association between socio-cultural influences and deterrents to participation of middle class urban Indian women in adult and continuing educational programs. Darkenwald and Merriam’s (1982) theory of non-participation was selected as the theoretical lens used to guide this study.

This study involved collecting qualitative data to analyze participant views and was collected through 16 semi-structured interviews to explore participants’ individual perceptions concerning socio-cultural deterrents influencing participation of middle class urban Indian women in adult and continuing educational programs. Qualitative data were analyzed to discover emerging themes and sub-themes. In the second phase of the study, a modified Deterrent to Participation Scale – General (DPS-G) was used to measure data collected from the surveys completed by participants, that included specific demographic questions. Descriptive statistics were used to examine the relationships between the demographic questions and the deterrent identified on the DPS-G. The interview and survey data were used convergently to understand the relationship between socio-cultural influences and deterrents impacting participant participation in adult and continuing educational programs.

The findings of the study indicated that the biggest socio-cultural influence deterring participation among middle class urban Indian women in adult and continuing educational programs is marriage. It is an Indian social norm that comes with a set of pre-defined roles and expectations, and married women find themselves consumed by fulfilling the marital and familial expectations and responsibilities and participation in adult and continuing educational program is furthest from their mind. Middle class urban Indian women do realize the importance of educational pursuits, but do not feel that they can, after marriage. They are open, however, to pursuing adult educational programs in the form of short-term skill development programs leading to income generation, although they would lead primarily to home-based work enterprises.

Identifier

FIDC000138

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