SOCIO-CULTURAL FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE MASTERS STUDENT’S CHOICE TO STUDY GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT STUDIES AT THE MASTER’S LEVEL IN NAIROBI COUNTY
Purpose: The study aimed at identifying the socio-cultural factors that influence master’s student’s choice to study gender and development studies at the master’s level in Nairobi County
Materials and methods: The study employed a case study design. Purposive sampling technique was used in selecting the respondents for the study. Interview guides and open ended questionnaires were the main data collection instruments for the research. Both qualitative and quantitative techniques guided by the research objectives and research questions were used to analyze data. Qualitative data was analyzed by use of themes and the coding technique while frequencies and percentages were used in the analysis of quantitative data that was collected.
Results: The study established that subject choice is influenced by a myriad of factors including, influence from peers, parents and societal opinions. Also reference groups in the society and environmental stimuli significantly contributed to subject choice. Gender unresponsiveness featured primarily when the students did not feel suited to the choice they had made due to factors such as family advice and their educational background constraints. Finally career counselling and mentorship programs for the students, seminars, outreach and sensitization programs played a great role in subject choice and the resolving and the gender unresponsiveness before it occurs in career choice.
Recommendations: The study recommends that universities should start career education sections to help resolve gender unresponsiveness through the creation of awareness about it by helping students to make subject choices where they can actualize their potential.
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