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Learner Identities

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Samantha Shields


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© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.The move towards a massified higher education system has seen a burgeoning interest in the diversity of learner identities within undergraduate populations. Working-class students are typically more likely to be labelled as having ‘fragile’ learner identities (e.g. Brine & Waller, Working-class women on an Access course: Risk, opportunity and (re)constructing identities. Gender and Education, 16(1), 97–113, 2004). The deliberation phase of internal conversation for the working-class women centred around reflections of the likelihood of being a successful learner within the university context. The findings showed that Horizon-Expanders had the same strong learner identities as Mobility-Maintainers, facilitated by a sense of belonging and entitlement to be part of an academic context. The Returners had not historically experienced a sense of belonging in a learning environment. The Incremental-Hybrids had experienced academic adversity. However, all participants had internalised meritocratic conceptions of hard work.

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 Emotion

Year: 2021

Pages: 59-74

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_5

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9783030889340