Abstract

This qualitative study explored how feminism as a social identity impacts how women interpret their career and life experiences. The overarching research question that guided the study was: How do feminist-identified women make sense of their feminist identity, life experiences, and career path? The theoretical framework that provided the lens for the study included feminist, multicultural, intersectionality, and career development theories. Two distinct bodies of literature were reviewed to provide a foundation for the study: (a) women's career development, in particular, the supports and barriers experienced, and (b) feminist identity, including influences to adopting the feminist label and factors associated with a feminist identity such as the expectation of egalitarian relationships. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was the research design and informed the data collection and analysis. Eight college-educated and feminist-identified women participated in the study and data were collected through semi-structured interviews. Four themes emerged through the data analysis: (a) personal journey to feminism, (b) community of support, (c) adversity experienced, and (d) empowerment and authenticity. Although there were a few limitations around generalizability, the findings suggest a connection between feminist identity and career choices as well as the positive impact women can have on other women through providing inspiration, mentoring, and support.

Advisor

Diane Coursol

First Committee Member

Jennifer Preston

Second Committee Member

Jacqueline Lewis

Third Committee Member

Richard Auger

Date of Degree

2015

Language

english

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Counseling and Student Personnel

College

Education

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License