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Title: Embodying value : social class and gender in the transitional experiences of graduate trainee accountants
Author: Lyle, Samantha A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2748 6282
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis is about the experiences of 15 graduates as they made the transition over the course of a year from higher education into employment as trainee accountants at a multinational accountancy firm in the UK. The success of that transition has been argued to be a key stage in fostering individuals’ life chances because it means building on their education in order to start a career. The thesis demonstrates that gaining certain credentials is the central mechanism by which the middle and working-classes can accrue value under neo-liberalism. Therefore this thesis is about the ways in which individuals who occupy similar and different social locations become subjects of value and are then able to exchange that value as they travel through the field of education and transition to the graduate labour market. I argue that taking an embodied approach to the transition from higher education to employment can show us a great deal about how class and gender play out in individual transitions to employment. Rose and Miller (1995) argue for the important contribution that studying individuals in their workplace settings can make to contemporary analysis of the social. This thesis seeks to do this by capturing graduates’ experiences in their own words, in depth, so that we can better understand how processes of class and gender are seen, managed and negotiated by individual graduates. Analysis of 37 participant interviews demonstrates that becoming a subject of value hinges on complex social relations to which social class, gender and ethnicity are primary. Furthermore that some participants, owing to the advantages conferred on them by their parents, are further along this process than others. I have suggested that the ability to thrive as a neo-liberal subject does not just depend on the resources conferred upon an individual, but that how those resources – as well as transitional experiences – are framed, reflected and acted upon by an individual affects their resilience and ability to thrive and therefore their ability to accrue value.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council (Great Britain) (ESRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor ; HM Sociology