Using Qualitative Methods to Explore Students’ Perceptions of the University of Nairobi’s Institutional Culture, Kenya
J. Njeri Muasya, PhD

Debate on gender and education suggest that discourses of culture and institutional norms are responsible for the differential treatment of men and women on campus. Use of quantative methods in a study of institutional culture, a complex social phenomenon, may provide superficial, incomplete, unreliable numericbased information. Thus, in researching institutional culture, feminist scholars recommend use of ‘personal/individual’ words, opinions and experiences, a way of understanding how boys and girls; men and women construct and make sense of their social, cultural, political and economic realities. Through the use of in-depth interviews and focused group discussions, I was able to carefully listen and record the voices of men and women students’ experiences and perceptions, a way of constructing varied discourses of institutional culture. Findings from this study reveal gendered experiences that tend to position men and women students differently on campus. The gendered representations and realities tend to some extent reinforce inequalities, social injustices, likely to affect the achievement of gender equality. Drawing from my PhD journey, I will show why qualitative methods should be used to research institutional culture.

Full Text: PDF      DOI: 10.15640/ijgws.v4n1a1