chapter  6
24 Pages

Power, Interest and Support: The Effects of Education on the Women's Family Lives

This chapter explores the women's attitudes with regard to bringing higher education into the private sphere of the family and their perceptions of the effects of this upon their relationships with their partners, children, and also extended family, and the ways that these are related to power. The women's entry into the public world of formal education, their gaining of a resource that might potentially be used as a vehicle for the renegotiation of power within their partnerships, thus did not appear to affect the practical division of labour within their households radically. The men's exercise of power within the relationship could be to withhold interest and moral support. The implicit power balance in the women's relationships with their partners could be disturbed if the women did not compartmentalize and separate off from family life their educational understandings and concepts. The mature women students regarded their partners' emotional support and encouragement while they studied as very important.