A Multi-methods Approach to Qualitative Inquiry to Explore the College Journeys of Mexican American Women

Janet Rocha*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This qualitative study highlights how the use of several interpretative-methods helps to better capture the journey of the participants’ transition from low-income, immigrant households to first-generation college students of color at a top-tier research university. I examine a wide range of interpretive practices, from traditional to innovative educational methods in the field of qualitative inquiry, when exploring the lived experiences of students who have been historically excluded in higher education. I reflect on the benefits and limits when employing these methods. I argue for the particular strength of employing multiple qualitative methods to study complex life situations such as college transitions. The pilot study’s preliminary findings suggest that four first-generation college-going students utilized their family as a resource to help their transition to college. Specifically, the use of participant-generated photographs helped capture meaningful aspects of their everyday life as a college student. Scholars who aim to understand lived experiences of Mexican American women or other excluded groups are encouraged to employ multiple-interpretive methods to gain more textured accounts of their college experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Latinos and Education
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Family
  • higher education
  • Mexican-heritage women
  • multiple-interpretative methods
  • pilot study
  • qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Education

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