An Auto-ethnography: One Middle-Aged Woman's Journey through Graduate School

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Sharma, Nav
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This research represents an intensely personalized account of the various complexities in terms of role demand, management, conflict, and overload for women of the 21st century. I am the primary subject and researcher within the larger social context of family, community, culture, religion academia etc. By utilizing the auto-ethnographic method of writing and research I reflected and sequentially chronicled my experiences as an employed female student in her 30s completing a graduate studies program. This is followed by a reflective analysis utilizing theories of lifespan development and cultural psychology as a conceptual framework for ideas, insight and sensitivity towards the process involved as well as more general processes involved in the intentional process of change, particularly for adult woman. Data gather consisted of a reflective journal, my personal calendar, University Syllabuses' and reflective analysis. Upon the completion of the program common themes and key attributes helped to illuminate retrospective and reflective insights. These were the research tools used to capture my experience in graduate school. The results of this study are expressed in a narrative of my personal experience in the appendix. Chapters one through three present a more traditional thesis model which include introduction, literature review, and research methodology. Chapters four and five focus on results, as well as a discussion of the findings and conclusion.