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Thesis - Campus Access Only
Master of Arts (MA)
Deanna L. Fassett
critical, first-generation college student, graduate school, social capital, social support
Communication; Education; Higher
This thesis examines the stresses of graduate school that lead to burnout and the ways in which first-generation college students who attend graduate school seek social support to mitigate these stresses. Six ethnographic interviews of first-generation college students enrolled in master's degree programs were conducted. Of the 6, 3 were men and 3 were women; 4 were from the social sciences, 1 was from science, and 1 was from engineering. 3 were graduate teaching associates and 3 were not. The interviews revealed that these 6 students projected self-sufficiency, sometimes at the cost of needed social support. They stressed time management as a cause of frustration. Family members were sometimes approached for emotional support, but other graduate students served as a prime social support network. Suggestions are given for universities, departments, and students to improve access to social support.
Lancaster, Christopher Michael, "First-Generation College Students, Graduate School, and Social Support" (2010). Master's Theses. 3772.