“I think they view me not quite as a ‘student’ student”: problematising the embodied social capital of mature/home-based University students (13960)
In recent years an internationally growing body of literature has emerged concerning the geographies of home-based and/or mature learners, specifically relating to their interactions with other, more ‘traditional’ students (Holdsworth, 2009), and involving unequal access to education; social interactions and learner outcomes. Central to much of this literature is a sense that mature/home-based learners are disadvantaged by their age, history, external commitments and immobility (Christie et al., 2005) and are unlikely to share the same ‘student experiences’ as their traditional counterparts, leading to feelings of alienation and, at worst, discontinuation of study (Clayton et al., 2009). This paper will seek to problematise these notions of disadvantage by examining the experiences of a group of mature and home-based learners through the lens of embodied social capital (Holt, 2008). This will be useful as it will provide a more critical insight into how mature/home-based students’ [dis]advantaged learner identities are [re]produced through their everyday sociability. Using three contrasting examples (the lecture theatre; the University society and night-time socialising) this paper will examine the diverse ways in which the embodied sense of ‘being’ mature/home-based learners’ can [re]produce [dis]advantage whilst at University.
Christie, H. (2007). Higher Education and Spatial (Im)mobility: Non-traditional Students and Living at Home. Environment and Planning A, 39(10), 2445-2463.
Clayton, J., Crozier, G., and Reay, D. (2009). Home and Away: Risk, Familiarity and the Multiple Geographies of the Higher Education Experience. International Studies in Sociology of Education, 19(3-4), 157-174.
Holdsworth, C. (2009). `Going Away to Uni’: Mobility, Modernity, and Independence of English Higher Education Students. Environment and Planning A, 41(8), 1849-1864.
Holt, L. (2008). Embodied Social Capital and Geographic Perspectives: Performing the Habitus. Progress in Human Geography, 32(2), 227-246.