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Gender and Subject Choice in Higher Education in Saudi Arabia

alwedinani, jawaher (2016) Gender and Subject Choice in Higher Education in Saudi Arabia. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This study explores women’s views and attitudes towards the traditionally masculine subjects in higher education in a Saudi Arabian context. It investigates the factors that influence women’s subject choices. It also addresses the implications of limited subject choices in women’s experiences in higher education. The study adopted an inquiry approach to understand women’s experiences in relation to their educational choices. The study was conducted at two universities located in two major cities in Saudi Arabia. The data in this study were collected through interviews with women. Snowball sampling was used to recruit 100 female students and lecturers. The findings of this study demonstrate how the internalisation of gender norms and gender stereotypes shapes women’s views and attitudes towards these subjects. It also shows how patriarchal structures influence women’s subject choices and how such influences vary depending on the father. Women who come from traditional families are more likely to accommodate the patriarchal influences, whilst those who come from non-traditional families are more likely to bargain or negotiate with the patriarchal system. This study reveals how fathers’ influences on women’s education differ according to their attitudes towards Ikhtilat. The study addresses the sensitivity of the Ikhtilat issue in the Saudi context and how the prohibition of Ikhtilat has shaped women’s experiences in Saudi higher education. It shows how women exercise their agency through bargaining, resisting and negotiating with the patriarchal system. Furthermore, it identifies factors that influence women’s subject choices and how these factors differ amongst women.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Department of Education (York)
Depositing User: miss jawaher alwedinani
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2016 15:36
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2016 15:36
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/15372

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