Harvard Educational Review
  1. Summer 2010 Issue »

    The Role of Subjective Motivation in Girls’ Secondary Schooling

    The Case of Avoidance of Abuse in Belize

    Eileen Anderson-Fye
    As in other Latin American and Caribbean nations, young women in Belize have made remarkable strides in enrollment in and completion of secondary schooling. In fact, adolescent girls did so well during the 1990s that the usual explanations of increased access to schooling and governmental policy aimed at increasing girls’ education did not appear to fully explain girls’ success at the time. Here, Eileen Anderson-Fye argues that secondary schoolgirls’ subjective motivations played a key role in their educational experiences during the late 1990s. Based on data collected from a longitudinal study conducted between 1996 and 2001, Anderson-Fye suggests that many of the young women in this study saw education as a route to independence or as a way to avoid gender-based maltreatment for themselves and their future children. She asserts this “push” factor, combined with the “pull” factors of increased economic opportunities for young women with high school diplomas, led to increased educational outcomes for girls at this time. Through this case study of one cohort of girls in San Andrés, Belize, Anderson-Fye provides several important insights for educational researchers and practitioners working with young women today.

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    Eileen P. Anderson-Fye is assistant professor of anthropology at Case Western Reserve University and assistant research anthropologist at UCLA. Her research focuses on adolescent well-being and mental health in contexts of rapid cultural change through two major projects: a longitudinal investigation of adolescent female high school students in Belize and a study of students’ experiences of psychiatric medication usage during the transition to college. Her work has won the Condon Prize in Psychological Anthropology and has been published in book chapters and journals such as Ethos, the Journal of Addictive Diseases, and Culture, Medicine, & Psychiatry. She held a Foundation for Psychocultural Research–Culture, Brain, Development Postdoctoral Fellowship and a Spencer Foundation Fellowship at UCLA where she won the Chancellor’s Award for Postdoctoral Research. She serves on national and international task forces regarding adolescent mental health, sits on the board of the Foundation for Applied Psychiatric Anthropology, and serves as a consultant to schools on adolescent mental health.

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    Summer 2010 Issue


    Scholarship Girls Aren’t the Only Chicanas Who Go to College
    Former Chicana Continuation High School Students Disrupting the Educational Achievement Binary
    Maria C. Malagon and Crystal R. Alvarez
    The Role of Subjective Motivation in Girls’ Secondary Schooling
    The Case of Avoidance of Abuse in Belize
    Eileen Anderson-Fye
    Rethinking Education and Emancipation
    Being, Teaching, and Power
    Noah De Lissovoy
    Representing Family
    Community Funds of Knowledge, Bilingualism, and Multimodality
    Elizabeth Marshall and Kelleen Toohey
    “The Beauty of America”
    Nationalism, Education, and the War on Terror
    Thea Renda Abu El-Haj

    Book Notes

    Children of the Gulag
    Cathy A. Frierson and Semyon S. Vilensky

    Our Schools Suck
    Gaston Alonso, Noel S. Anderson, Celina Su, and Jeanne Theoharis

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