ERIC Number: EJ734586
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-May
"A Massive University or a University for the Masses?": Continuity and Change in Higher Education in Spain and England
Langa Rosado, Delia; David, Miriam E.
Journal of Education Policy, v21 n3 p343-365 May 2006
This paper discusses whether the massification of higher education (HE) in the majority of developed countries over the last few decades has led to changes in the form of involvement in universities for the masses, or massive universities for the expanding middle classes. Situating our argument with the evidence of massive expansion of HE in England and Spain, and using Bourdieu's theoretical framework, we compare two studies that looked at whether these changes led to a revised structuring of educational opportunities by social class and to universities accessible to the masses or merely massive universities. The English study considered the choices, and the Spanish study, the experiences of students and how they felt about being students. Our conclusions stress the relation between the social construction of the category "youth" or young people in relation to HE, and the different structures of economic rights and duties of different social classes. While upper and middle class male and female students live their university lives with a clear feeling of entitlement, lower middle class and working class students need to justify their economic dependence on the family and so their university status. Developing concepts used in the English study for ethnic minority students we distinguish an "embedded" style, that is a taken for granted perspective, from a "contingent" style or one where students need to justify their choices of being students. These lead to different degrees of legitimacy of higher educational investments corresponding to different "familial habituses".
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Educational Change, Developed Nations, Educational Opportunities, Social Class, College Students, Comparative Analysis, Student Attitudes, Youth, Social Differences, Research Methodology, Student Experience, Personality Traits, Civil Rights, Models, College Attendance
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Spain; United Kingdom (England)