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Title: Mature female graduates : moving on?.
Author: Skucha, Julie Mary.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3416 8555
Awarding Body: University of Wolverhampton
Current Institution: University of Wolverhampton
Date of Award: 1999
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As the higher education system expanded during the 1980s and early 1990s increasing numbers of mature women undertook the transition to graduate life. Such women also have a potentially prominent role as employees in the labour market of the mid-1990s in which the workforce is described as both feminised and "greying". Yet the dominant framework of research on the transition of graduates to the labour market, despite its recognition of the influence of structural factors of difference among graduates, has paid scant attention to the experiences of mature female graduates. This study begins the process of redressing that situation by adding both quantitative and qualitative data on the labour market outcomes of becoming a mature female graduate. The study's methodology is informed by feminist critiques of mainstream social research, and a central concern is to prioritise the perspectives of participants. The 137 women whose voices are represented in this dissertation entered first degree study on non-vocational courses, full or part-time, at or above the age of 21. They graduated from the University of Wolverhampton in 1994 and 1995. From their perspectives the transition entails considerably wider questions than those posed directly in relation to employment. Rather, the issues involve a complex interrelationship between structural and situational factors and the graduates' responses to these. Therefore the scope of the study incorporates questions of agency, understood as an aspect of identity. Escape, resilience, adaptation and marginality are core features of the findings connecting the three alternative forms of analysis presented. In these the graduates are first viewed collectively, then re-grouped in accordance with issues of age, gender, social class and ethnicity, and, finally, removed from categories in order to explore issues of identity and diversity. These analyses are then argued to be complementary perspectives that illustrate a possibility of moving beyond dichotomous approaches to understanding women's lives. The study concludes that the composite mature female graduate, Educated Rita, may be located and identified by addressing questions of structure and agency, similarity and difference, and that she considers the transition to be one in which she moves on
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Employment of female graduates