Native American and First Nations (hereafter referred to as indigenous) women college students are faced with a challenge to balance both their culture and the demands of the dominant Western culture in family, school, and work/employment roles. The presence of indigenous women in higher education and in the work force has increased since World War II. While there is an abundance of literature on work-family balance and work-family conflict, with some focus on the perspectives and expectations of college-aged students, there is a dearth in both of these areas with regards to indigenous populations. In order to begin to explore the experiences and perspectives of work and family, this study analyzed unstructured qualitative interviews of 11 Native American and 9 First Nations female college students. Themes resulting from the hermeneutic analysis of texts that describe the tensions around career, family and education were (a) honoring indigenous culture and community, (b) living in two worlds, (c) pursuing individual fulfillment and goals, and (d) acknowledging the importance and influence of family.
This paper was later published in the Journal of College Student Development. You can access the paper here.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Bingham, Jennie L., "Indigenous Women College Students' Perspectives on College, Work, and Family" (2011). Theses and Dissertations. 3038.
Indigenous populations, college students, multiculturalism, diversity in the workplace, sex roles