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Title: The nature of boys' educational aspirations in urban Jamaica : an exploratory mixed-methods study
Author: Stockfelt, Shawanda
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 1870
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2011
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The thesis reports on a study of boys' aspirations for higher education in Jamaica. Boys are grossly underrepresented in comparison to girls in most tertiary institutions. It has now become a priority for the Jamaican government to increase boys' access to further and higher education by finding ways of boosting their educational achievements. Within the international literature, educational achievement has been heavily linked to educational aspirations. However, this is an under-researched area in the Jamaican context. Do these boys aspire towards higher education? What is the nature of their educational aspirations? The study uses a reconceptualised notion of Bourdieu's 'field', 'habitus' and 'capital' to inform the overarching view of aspiration. The research is underpinned by critical realist ontological, epistemological and methodological assumptions. This supports an exploratory mixed-method approach using two main phases of research. Phase one involved ethnographic techniques to qualitatively explore the narratives of boys - and their families and teachers - in relation to the nature of their aspirations for higher education. This formed the basis for phase two which was a quantitative analysis of the factors shaping their aspirations undertaken in two case study schools. The findings suggested that boys are advantaged/disadvantaged based on their socio-economic backgrounds and the way they were categorised by their schools - e.g. performance streams - and the education system - e.g. type of school. Persistent narratives from structures within their educational field, especially their maternal families and experiences within their immediate communities - including the virtual presence of family and community within the Jamaican Diaspora in the USA, Canada and the UK - were also shown to help shape dispositional beliefs held by these boys, towards/about higher education and schooling. The study concludes by making some recommendations for policy, practice and future research based on the findings.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available