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Title: Policy, memory and voice : re-constructing narratives of widening participation in higher education in England
Author: Jones, I. R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7224 8136
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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This study offers two contributions to research and practice on different representations of widening participation as an analysis of policy but also for policy. The first contribution is methodological. An interpretive methodological framework has been designed by combining narrative policy analysis, institutional ethnography and the concept of bricolage. The framework was used to analyze and interpret policies and practices within six national and institutional policy texts, interviews with seven national and eight institutional policy actors and a diary of field notes and critical events. The methodology and methods enabled me to ask what the discourses and narratives of widening participation were in higher education in England, between 2004 and 2014, how these were interpreted and whether they could be re-constructed and re-cast. In the second contribution, narratives were incorporated into an explanatory typology of widening participation derived from a re-construction of ‘restricted’ and ‘reformist’ narratives and an ‘extended’ metanarrative. National policy actors, and those within the institution where I work, constructed different narratives of widening participation embodying various notions of transition, of their organisation and their own places within organisational stories. These suggested widening participation and transition are not simply problems to be managed but a set of recurring and complex dilemmas to be problematized. The typology may enhance research on the complexities of policy and practice by going beyond ‘the student lifecycle’. However, ‘extended’ metanarratives are not a compromise or comparison between ‘restricted’ and ‘reformist’ narratives. The typology is not designed to reduce complexities to distinct and static categories. Instead, by interpreting struggles between narratives, an ‘extended’ metanarrative may offer a starting point in a re-casting of policy and practice and the typology a possibility for further research on widening participation.
Supervisor: Hodgson, A. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available