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Title: Everyday class distinctions in higher education
Author: Mountford, Victoria Grace
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2012
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More than a decade of enormous changes in government policy (and power), funding and fees has transformed the scope, breadth and value of higher education in England (Featherstone, 2011). At the time of writing, the system of higher education in England is undergoing further substantial changes with funding cuts and vastly increased tuition fees that represent a further step in the neoliberalist marketisation of higher education (Collini, 2012; Holmwood, 2011). Such transformations in higher education (HE) bring further threats to social equality despite being hailed as the answer to upward social mobility (Reay, 2008b; Archer, 2007). This study was set up partly in response to the Widening Participation agenda promulgated by New Labour from 1997 onwards and under which, all of the students involved in this research were enrolled. Whilst the premise of the agenda – to open up university opportunities for groups of young people who previously would have been excluded - is undeniably a positive advancement, the significance (and naming) of class in the life trajectories of these (potential) students is largely absent. This research problematises the effacement of class in favour of educational discourses of social inclusion/exclusion, diversity and choice, and seeks to show how class is a real and active force in the lives of today’s students. Not only that, the dissertation shows that HE represents a social space in which class inequalities are perpetuated and which serves to disrupt and cause tensions in the experiences of some students as they navigate new and unfamiliar territory and occupy different relationships to normative student identities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available