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Title: The Apprentice's Tale : entry to multiple communities of practice for working class boys
Author: Galvani, R. G.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7225 4288
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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This small scale, qualitative study examines the apprenticeship experiences of a group of working class young men from the London area during the years 1959-1989, to determine the impact of those experiences on the formation of their adult, male, self-identities. The research contributes to current debates and literature on apprenticeships, youth transitions, masculinity, social class and identity. It records as social history the recollections of ten ex-apprentices from the telecommunications and construction industries (five from each sector) and includes evidence of how they chose their apprenticeships. Data consists of participants’ memories collected as oral histories during semi-structured interviews, and from written answers to pre-interview questionnaires. The research was designed to ascertain the impact of their apprenticeships on the construction of the participants’ adult identities as defined by the concept of ‘standard adulthood’ (Parsons, 1971). This I describe as a series of interconnecting communities of practice (Lave and Wenger, 1991; Wenger, 1998), into which the participants entered as legitimate peripheral participants. Drawing on situated learning theory (Lave and Wenger, 1991), I contend that their post-war apprenticeships were part of a social and cultural institution that continued to serve as an integrative vehicle for the attainment of the ‘classic markers of adulthood’ (Blatterer, 2007a; 2007b) as a ‘life apprenticeship’, and through participation in diverse adult social worlds enabled them to become full participants in society (Goodwin, 2007). This thesis also examines the influence of social factors such as families, education and class on the participants’ school to work transitions. The research reveals a noticeable difference in the ways that these factors determined the two participant groups’ choice of apprenticeship. Drawing on social reproduction theory and the concept of cultural capital (Bourdieu & Passeron, 1990 ), I reveal the extent that family and social class played in deciding the participants’ future life courses.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available