Abstract

Well-educated Korean women are returning to higher education in unprecedented numbers with the motivation of recovering their personal identity. The purpose of this qualitative study is to understand in what ways this experience is meaningful to these reentry women. In-depth interviews were conducted with 13 Korean full-time housewives aged 25 to 45 who already had a Bachelor’s degree yet enrolled as students at a four-year university, a graduate school, or a university-affiliated lifelong education center. The constant comparative method was employed for data analysis. The major finding of this study was that the experience of returning to university was meaningful for the participants in that they re-established themselves as independent individuals, broke their isolation, obtained a sense of accomplishment, gained recognition, and structured everyday life. These experiences are perceived meaningful because schooling addressed the sources of discontent in their lives of full-time housewives

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Oct 14th, 9:00 AM

Reclaiming the Self: How Korean Housewives Make Meaning of their Reentry Experiences

Well-educated Korean women are returning to higher education in unprecedented numbers with the motivation of recovering their personal identity. The purpose of this qualitative study is to understand in what ways this experience is meaningful to these reentry women. In-depth interviews were conducted with 13 Korean full-time housewives aged 25 to 45 who already had a Bachelor’s degree yet enrolled as students at a four-year university, a graduate school, or a university-affiliated lifelong education center. The constant comparative method was employed for data analysis. The major finding of this study was that the experience of returning to university was meaningful for the participants in that they re-established themselves as independent individuals, broke their isolation, obtained a sense of accomplishment, gained recognition, and structured everyday life. These experiences are perceived meaningful because schooling addressed the sources of discontent in their lives of full-time housewives