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Tenacious Ethiopian Women and Their Rise to Educational Success

Karnes, Anna-Maria (2019) Tenacious Ethiopian Women and Their Rise to Educational Success. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation uses narrative inquiry to explore the stories of 11 rural Ethiopian women who were extremely successful in their educational careers. One hour semi-structured interviews were conducted in Ethiopia with 35 women who had completed master’s degrees. From these, eleven focal participants were selected whose parents had little to no schooling, voiced their family’s struggles with poverty, and were from very rural areas in Ethiopia. After four rounds of coding were conducted, 17 categories emerged showing trends in participants’ stories. Then each category was refined into two separate themes of Strategies for Endurance and Motivation to Envision a Brighter Future. These chapters look at specific ways participants persisted through the challenges that came their ways; they also show how and why participants were able stay motivated in the midst of many setbacks. Their stories provide insight into factors that contribute to the enrollment and retention of rural school girls all the way up through graduate school.
Furthermore, I apply American persistence theories to the Ethiopian context. Tinto’s (1993) Longitudinal Model of Departure from Institutions of Higher Education was meant to analyze the decisions on why students persist in school or dropped out. Weidman’s (1989) Socialization Conceptual Approach added to this theory by showing the social aspects that are important to this decision. Yosso’s (2005) Community Cultural Wealth framework takes into account the strength minority students demonstrate in the school system. I found that Tinto (1993) and Weidman’s (1989) theories were difficult to apply in the Ethiopian context but had some crossover relating to interpersonal and institutional contexts. This study makes a contribution to Yosso’s (2005) Community Cultural Wealth in the context of this developing nation.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Karnes, Anna-Mariaawk19@pitt.eduawk19
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairPorter,
Committee MemberLelei,
Committee MemberPicard,
Committee MemberWeidman,
Committee MemberZeleke,
Date: 16 December 2019
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 23 August 2019
Approval Date: 16 December 2019
Submission Date: 10 December 2019
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 268
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Rural Ethiopia Motivation Girls, Women Narrative Inquiry Schools, Univeristy
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2019 14:49
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2019 14:49


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