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Title: Cultural and social capital in university choice : intra-class differences amongst working-class students in a sixth form college
Author: Woodward, Philip John
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 2012
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Background Research on the way that sixth-form students utilise cultural and social capital when applying to university has suggested that students make differential choices on the basis of social class. Research has also highlighted the significance of intra-class differences amongst middle-class students. It suggests the extent to which family, school, peers, and the media may influence and impact on choices. Aim This research examines the extent to which students from similar socio-economic backgrounds, and in particular 'working-class' students, make choices. This process is examined in terms of the university and course choices made and associated social advantage and prestige. Methods This research employs an interpretative paradigm using qualitative methods and a conceptual framework derived from Bourdieu. Focus groups and semi-structured interviews were used to investigate research questions and a grounded approach to data analysis was utilised. Findings Findings suggest that access to cultural and social capital is limited to familial influence. Students were influenced by their parents in differential ways, but also drew on the experience of their siblings.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral