Exploring Perceptions of Middle Class Urban Indian Women regarding Socio-Cultural Deterrents Influencing Participation in Adult and Continuing Educational Programs

Renu Batra, Florida International University

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.^

Subject Area

Womens studies|Multicultural Education|Adult education|Native American studies

Recommended Citation

Batra, Renu, "Exploring Perceptions of Middle Class Urban Indian Women regarding Socio-Cultural Deterrents Influencing Participation in Adult and Continuing Educational Programs" (2015). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI10002857.
https://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/dissertations/AAI10002857

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