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Deciding to Go to University

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Samantha Shields


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© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.Going to university is often characterised as a rite of passage to adulthood which also offers future career and financial benefits to the graduate. However, in this study the findings indicated that for working-class women, a strong justification for going to university was needed. The discernment phase of internal conversation considers ‘aspirations, reproaches and challenges’ (Archer, Being human the problem of agency. Cambridge University Press, 2000, p. 235), as individuals weigh-up the risk factors of life projects with potential future rewards. These internal conversations centred on a moral entitlement to a place at university based on academic capabilities or to fulfil their career aspirations through teacher training. For Horizon-Expanders, Incremental-Hybrids and Returners, the discernment phase of internal conversation when considering if university was a ‘worthwhile’ project was more extensive and protracted, than for the Mobility-Maintainers.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Shields S

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Working Class Female Students' Experiences of Higher Education : Identities, Choices and Emotions

Year: 2021

Pages: 43-57

Print publication date: 10/11/2021

Online publication date: 10/11/2021

Acceptance date: 02/04/2020

Series Title: Palgrave Studies in Gender and Education

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Place Published: Cham


DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-88935-7_4

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9783030889340