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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Shaking rattles in all directions : a case study/story of a female "Indian" student attending a EuroCanadian University (1991- ), located on the traditional territory of Musqueam Calliou, Sharilyn


Through use of a revelatory case study, as discussed by Yin in 1984, this researcher introspectively explores the university experience of a female student enrolled in graduate studies. Questions related to her post-secondary experiences as a novice researcher and as a student were asked in four broad areas: emotional, physical, cognitive, and spiritual. The interview questions, largely unstructured and open-ended, intended to probe the possible need for self- and institutional awareness about certain, identifiable, mitigating factors which affect the nature of the post-secondary student experience. The answers reveal a degree of disjuncture between the subject and the experience of being "schooled" in this post-secondary setting; however, the limited sample size of one - and the idiosyncratic nature of the informant's experience - cannot allow conclusive generalizations or recommendations to be firmly supported. The primary focus question for this research was: Do we need to (re)consider the research process? The pronoun - we - refers to anyone interested in the nature of quantitative and/or qualitative or other research methods, and may include those traditionally considered 'inside' the institution and those located 'outside' due to reasons of heritage, cultural capital, economic wealth, legislated disbarment or for other reasons of access disablement. Similarly, this question may be of interest to those who are themselves considered peripheral or outside 'mainstream' society. This question may also attract particular attention as increasing numbers of students from different ethnocultural, gender, class, religious and other variables of 'disadvantaged' backgrounds choose to attend post-secondary institutions, traditionally the preserve of children of European descent. The subjective probing indicates that this student experienced disjuncture between her worldview, as related to the nature of cognition, research, canon and secularization. - and the Weltanshung presented through the curricula of this postsecondary institution. Highlights of the findings include her perceptions that: (a) the nature of the research process she is introduced to is one where rationality is privileged, denuded of any emotional (or other) bases; (b) research processes are more invasive than friendly; (c) the canon does not include those she might cite authorities; and (d) the post-secondary experience is secularized. In conclusion, this research suggests that although a particular homogenization process, which may be characterised as Western scientific, may appear to be in place at post-secondary levels, particular students are able to resist overt and hidden curricular intentions. However, further study is suggested to discover the nature of such resistance and the potential value for (de)(post)colonialising curricula.

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