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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Samantha Shields


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© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.Archer’s (Structure, agency and the internal conversation. Cambridge University Press, 2003) concept of internal conversation enables an exploration of how working-class women agentically operate within the societal structures that they are involuntarily located. Pertinently, the working-class women had different sets of enablements and constraints contributing to differences in identities, choices and emotions which overall facilitated morphogenesis or morphostasis in relation to the ‘modus vivendi’ of higher education. This chapter proceeds with first a discussion of morphogenetic enablement or morphostatic constraint in relation to friendships, secondly teachers, thirdly family support, fourthly working-class femininities and finally primary teaching careers. Overall, it is suggested that neoliberal ‘post-feminist’ discourses are not meaningful for many working-class women and the prioritisation of family and locality are not concomitant with individualised ambitions of upward social mobility.

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: 101-107

Print publication date: 01/11/2021

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_8

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9783030889340