A Day in the Life: An Examination of Women’s Choices in the Academy
The choices facing academic women are rooted in expectations around gender roles and career aspirations, and the need to balance their private and professional lives. Through a thematic examination of personal narrative texts, the authors explored the challenges of pre-tenure female academics negotiating complex choices with goals to learn from these challenges and use them to help provide a model of community for other scholars exploring similar issues. Situated within a liberal feminist framework informed by the notion of collective care, action research was used to guide the creation of reflective narrative journals, and the data were examined using a protocol that involved team meetings and collaborative analysis. Five common themes emerged from the data: (a) job satisfaction, (b) time negotiation, (c) attention to others, (d) self-care, and (e) relationship building. Key outcomes point to the need for women to have choices and access to supportive and collaborative learning environments that promote wellness.
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