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Title: A narrative inquiry of women's lives in Mugu, Nepal : identities, power relations and education
Author: Mitchell , C.
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2013
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This study questions assumptions around universal understandings of gender and education. Using a narrative inquiry approach it focuses on the life-narratives of five women from the remote Himalayan district of Mugu, Nepal. It aims to examine the complexities of lived experience by gaining insight into how understandings of education are embedded in women's multiple and uniquely intersecting identities, and in doing so, it challenges singular definitions of gender and education. Influenced by postcolonial feminist theory, this inquiry applies an intersectional analysis to consider how identities (including gender, ethnicity, caste, position in the family, role in the household, age and economic status) interlock to create unequal power relations, and how the meanings and values that the women attach to education are embedded in these relations. As a narrative analysis this study foregrounds the five women's voices and experiences, challenging assumptions about whose experiences are valued and whose voice can be heard. Other voices have been interwoven with the women's stories and presented as a multi-layered narrative; these include the local expressive tradition of 'deuda' singing, interviews with educational stakeholders, and reflexive journaling. In keeping with narrative inquiry approaches, I use a more personal voice to reflect on concerns about power dynamics and ethical challenges involved in the research process. Issues of representation, as well as struggles relating to voice and positionality, are at the core of the study and reflexively considered throughout. By using a narrative inquiry approach; taking a postcolonial feminist perspective; and applying an intersectional analysis, this study refuses to rely on essentialist and homogenising constructions of women. It attempts to be an example of ethical and respectful research and claims to increase understanding of how identities, power relations and education intersect in women's lives in Mugu, Nepal.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available