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ERIC Number: EJ821563
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Mar
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
ISSN: ISSN-0962-0214
Understanding Working-Class "Drop-Out" from Higher Education through a Sociocultural Lens: Cultural Narratives and Local Contexts
Quinn, Jocey
International Studies in Sociology of Education, v14 n1 p57-74 Mar 2004
The "drop-out" of working-class students from universities has been identified as one of the most pressing issues for the higher education (HE) sector in the United Kingdom. This article draws on the initial findings of a major research project that explores the meanings and implications of such withdrawal from HE amongst young working-class people. The article argues that drop-out should be seen not just as an educational problem, but also as a manifestation of sociocultural change. To understand drop-out we need to look beyond student support needs or institutional barriers to cultural narratives and local contexts. This enables us to use a sociological frame to understand the educational question, and employ the educational data to contribute to sociological debates on class. The article analyses "drop-out" as a self-fulfilling cultural narrative that is increasingly connoted as working class, as well as being a consequence of the material exigencies of working-class circumstances. It illustrates how class identity mutates yet stays the same, with the working class still positioned in terms of "lack". Although the possibility of university study has become a part of working-class identity, the expectation that this experience may be "flawed" or "spoilt" has also become engrained. The article analyses drop-out as two sides of one coin: as both significantly influenced by local culture and as having a perceived impact upon that culture, with different effects in different locales.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom