Stories from a marginalised majority: an exploration of local live at home students and their experiences of ‘student-hood’

Fulford, Lynn (2021) Stories from a marginalised majority: an exploration of local live at home students and their experiences of ‘student-hood’. Doctoral thesis, Birmingham City University.

Lynn Fulford PhD Thesis published_Final version_Submitted Jan 2021_Final Award Jan 2021.pdf - Accepted Version

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This research adopts a narrative enquiry approach to explore local live at home students’ first year experiences in a post-92 university and to consider why they are more likely to withdraw early from their undergraduate studies than those who live in student accommodation. Using a theoretical framework influenced by the work of Bourdieu, it uses data gathered from focus groups and individual interviews to argue that students who live at home are a resourceful and resilient group, not yet fully recognised, understood and valued by the institution. The findings of the research challenge deficit models of live at home students, demonstrating instead the richness of their experiences, including their commitment to their families, communities and to the university itself.

The research considers how, despite most of its undergraduates remaining at home, the institutional habitus is potentially alienating to that majority because it reproduces an increasingly outdated, elitist model of university life or ‘student-hood’ where moving away from home is considered the norm or orthodoxy. It postulates that the reproduction of this orthodoxy contributes towards live at home students feeling ‘odd’ or ‘different’ from their peers who move away to study and argues that the institution needs to consider how it more effectively serves its local students by understanding their needs and their identities.

The research finds that live at home students are beginning to challenge the orthodoxy, creating new models of student-hood which more accurately reflect the multiplicity of their lives and their identities. It concludes that, by actively supporting its local students to articulate, celebrate and promote these new models, the University can impact positively on continuation rates and more legitimately justify itself as the university for its city.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
4 January 2021Submitted
15 January 2021Accepted
Uncontrolled Keywords: Live at home students, non-traditional, widening access, new majority students
Subjects: CAH22 - education and teaching > CAH22-01 - education and teaching > CAH22-01-01 - education
Divisions: Doctoral Research College > Doctoral Theses Collection
Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > School of Education and Social Work
Depositing User: Jaycie Carter
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2022 14:47
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2022 14:47

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