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Leaving home. a narrative inquiry of African Women's post graduate educational experiences at a South African university.

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2018

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Abstract

This research presents an understanding of the worlds of African women students studying postgraduate education. In documenting their life stories, I composed a research text that explored the resistances and complicities, identities and differences, changes and shifts that characterised how African women performed their alternate self to the dominant domestic keeper identity. Working with Lona, Prudence, Zandile, and Thabile, I composed stories of their lived educational experiences, offering an interpretation of their pathways to becoming postgraduate students at a South African University. Channelled by a narrative inquiry approach within the critical feminist paradigm, I used a multiple method approach for the generation of data, including long unstructured interviewsand visual inquiry methods, to respond to key research questions that drove my curiosity. These methods helped the African postgraduate women to articulate what is beneficial to their success and acceptance in the university. Positioned from African feminist standpoint theory, I zoomed into these marginalised spaces to understand how identities and meanings of the African woman self were opened to different ways of being. Positioning my story alongside theirs, as an insider, enabled me to uncover multiple stories, mine and theirs, of marginalisation, oppression, patriarchy, alienation and cultural surveillance inside and outside their homes.

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Doctorate Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.

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