Journal of Qualitative Research in Education

e-ISSN: 2148-2624
Impact of Socially Constructed Choices on Female School Heads’ Educational and Career Choices in Pakistan: A Qualitative Study
Ahsan-Ur-REHMAN, Muhammad Ilyas KHAN, Zarina WAHEED
10.14689/enad.26.10

Abstract: This study presents findings from a larger study exploring the career trajectories of female schoolteachers who become school heads. The study was carried out in Peshawar, Pakistan. Female school heads’ career choices have been termed socially constructed as it explores the influences of predominantly male-dominant social structures on women’s career choices. The study explores the contributors to and influence on female school heads' decisions to join the teaching profession within the context of the predominately traditional and conservative society in north-west, Pakistan. Semi-structured interviews were conducted for in-depth and rich accounts of ten female school heads. The findings of this study suggest that in the educational and career choices of female school heads, their parents and especially fathers play a significant role. The findings also suggest that keeping the cultural realities in mind females opt for the culturally acceptable professions: school teaching in the current context. The study reveals limited choices of education and careers for women in traditional societies. This calls for efforts to broaden such choices for women for a more equitable social ordering. Further, wider scope studies may be conducted for greater generalizations and broader understanding regarding the issue.

Keywords: Female school heads, career trajectories, parental influence, career decisions, traditional-conservative society

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