Secondary students in two former mining communities: possibilities for the self

KIDD, Sandra Winifred (2005). Secondary students in two former mining communities: possibilities for the self. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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This thesis was prompted by student working class underachievement in GCSE examinations at two secondary schools in two former mining communities, located in North East Derbyshire and North Nottinghamshire during the period 1995-2002. Reid’s analysis of social class in Britain, (1998), whilst acknowledging a connection between educational achievement and individual ability, states, ‘Educational experience and achievement are clearly related to social class’ (page 187). I propose that a particular working class culture was the all encompassing meaning making framework in locally produced identities, masculinities and femininities. The sense of self/identity of the research participants, notably that of the students, framed by the lived experience of class (the socio-economic, cultural, emotional, psychic reality of a particular class experience) maintained by resilient and powerful local language/discourse, at particular temporal and spatial points, is central to my exploration of the opening up of possibilities for the self in the life chances of the students. The study compares and contrasts the experiences of majority working class students to minority working class students and middle class students via an examination of the inter-relationship between sense of self/identity and local perspectives upon time, space and personal narrativity. The thesis argues that students who combined immersion in local productions of self/identity, such as localised definitions of masculinity and femininity, with a predominantly episodic relationship to schooling/education time and a predominantly territorial relationship to space, the majority working class view,points to both a lack of educational engagement and academic success at GCSE, and thence to the closing down of life chances. The conceptual framework for this thesis is provided by postmodern and feminist thought which foregrounds our existential reality as crucial to understanding our way of being in the world. Bourdieu’s concept of the habitus is utilised to demonstrate how,when a particular habitus interacts with a particular relationship to time and space, possibilities for the self are opened up or closed down. Since being and becoming in time and space are a central focus of this research, much ethnographic data is drawn on; the methodology used is therefore almost wholly qualitative.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Bentley, Di
Thesis advisor - Povey, Hilary
Thesis advisor - Bufton, Serena
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Helen Garner
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2017 15:59
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2021 13:53

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