A women's investment club : a case study investigating the process of empowerment by active participation in a group learning environment

Elsworth, Jill (2005) A women's investment club : a case study investigating the process of empowerment by active participation in a group learning environment. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

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Abstract

Over the last two decades research into the notion of empowerment has been focused on the three primary dimensions of process, outcomes and environment within the contexts of the individual, community groups and business organisations. As a psychological attribute, empowerment at the individual level has been investigated significantly by such theorists as Rappaport (1995) and Zimmerman (2000). However, studies in this field neglect deep understanding of the reality of the individual's experiences of the empowerment process. Definitions within the literature refer to empowerment as being a process which occurs over time for the individual who is personally challenged to achieve power and control within his/her own life context by the application and reflection of learning new knowledge and skills.

The purpose of this investigative case study is to examine the reality of the empowerment process as it occurs in the individual lives of a group of women who have actively participated in the learning environment of an investment club over a 2 year period in Brisbane. The three dimensions of empowerment support the structure of the study with the findings evidencing 'authentic empowerment' is achieved when the individual seeks to operate within the dual learning environments of the supportive group as well as the solo learning environment.

The reality of individual authentic empowerment proved to be a continuum of experience dependent upon the individual's levels of motivation, energy, decision-making abilities, knowledge, risk taking, confidence, time and goals. Sustainability of empowerment related to the participant's level of active involvement in the dual learning environments while accepting complete responsibility for actions and consequences.

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ID Code: 16075
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Delahaye, Brian & Fox, Patricia
Keywords: individual empowerment, adult learning, women’s ways of knowing, power, transformational learning, empowerment, self-growth, motivation, authentic empowerment, praxis, feminist pedagogy, supportive groups, investment clubs, case study, spiritual, postpositivism, constructivism.
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Cultural & Professional Learning
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Department: Faculty of Education
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 03:56
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2013 08:17

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