ERIC Number: EJ1010854
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 23
"Miraculous Exceptions": What Can Autobiography Tell Us about Why Some Disadvantaged Students Succeed in Higher Education?
Higher Education Research and Development, v32 n1 p30-42 2013
This study examines the use of the autobiographical research method, where information is gathered from a participant's largely unstructured construction of narrative. It considers the experiences of three "miraculous exceptions": university graduates from low socio-economic backgrounds, who are people traditionally under-represented in higher education. The analysis adapts Bourdieuian notions of economic, cultural and social capital to examine the interrelationship between various factors contributing to educational success. Findings from this study suggest that although the relationship between structure, agency and capital is highly complex, there is greater potential for ongoing educational "outreach" activities to inspire disadvantaged students--and their parents--to consider higher education as an aspiration. The focus of the concluding discussion is on the research method itself.
Descriptors: Disadvantaged, Autobiographies, Socioeconomic Background, College Graduates, Cultural Capital, Social Capital, Correlation, Outreach Programs, Academic Achievement, Disproportionate Representation, Social Integration, Research Methodology
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A