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Higher education - Essay Example

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HIGHER Higher Education Introduction During the last half of the 20th century in the US the university attendance and graduation rates mushroomed for both sexes. However those for females increased even faster than those for males, so that by the early 21st century more women than men were graduating from American universities…
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Higher education

Download file to see previous pages... While university attendance rates increased generally for women, there was significant variance among different segments of the population because of factors such as age, race and ethnicity. This is because especially in this age of globalization we all have multiple identities such as age, race, ethnicity, religion, full or part time student, employment status, recent immigrant or native, etc. Intersectional theory shows that ones’ various identities intersect with each other influencing how we think and act, sometimes in opposite directions. For example, a Muslim woman from a conservative family may want to attend college, but is discouraged from doing so by her strict upbringing stipulating that education is unnecessary for women. Thus while the general trend is for increased female university attendance, the actual increase varies among different population segments because of the intersection of influences prevailing in specific populations which can either encourage or dampen the trend. Table 5-8 This table in the provided reading analyses the proportion of undergraduate degrees earned in 2004 in the US by gender, race, ethnicity and age. For example, it tells us that 61% of all graduates were “traditional”, that is full time students under 24 while the remaining 39% were over 25, presumably either part time students possibly employed or full time who may have interrupted their work career in order to upgrade their skills. In the under 24 age group 34% within the 61% were women, and in the older group 24% within the 30% were women, or more than half in each case. However, while the proportion of women exceeded men for all racial/ethnic categories, the margin of difference varied considerably. For example, African Americans of both sexes were 50% of their graduating population for both the under 24 and over 25 age groups. However, for the under 24s 30% within the 50% were women 34% within the over 24 50% were also women, that is in both cases especially in the older group over half of the African American graduates were women. In contrast, for the Asian Americans under 24 33% within the 65% were women, although they constituted 21% within the remaining over 25 proportion. It is also noticeable that for most racial/ethnic groups women are a higher proportion of graduates for the over 25 age group than they are for the younger graduates, although in each case they exceed the male rate. Although the table tells us that there are differences among racial/ethnic groups in the degree to which the proportion of female graduates exceed that of males and the higher proportion is generally even more pronounced for the over 25 age group, it dos not tell us why. Unfortunately, in the social sciences unlike in the physical sciences, one cannot easily manipulate the quantity and quality of variables in a lab experiment to determine the exact effect of each variation. Instead, one must examine different population segments and different hypothesis about what economic and/or social factors are likely driving their behavior, for example, the higher proportion of African American women pursuing higher education compared to females of other races/identities. Is this because they are generally of a lower socio-economic ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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