‘It is like school sometimes’: friendship and sociality on university campuses and patterns of social inequality

Read, B. , Burke, P. J. and Grozier, G. (2020) ‘It is like school sometimes’: friendship and sociality on university campuses and patterns of social inequality. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 41(1), pp. 70-82. (doi: 10.1080/01596306.2018.1457626)

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Abstract

Whilst most social and educational research on friendship focuses on children at school, it remains a crucially important factor for students in higher education – and can play a key role in the maintenance, exacerbation or subversion of dominant forms of social inequalities. This paper explores the complexities of such dynamics in relation to friendship and social life at university, utilising data from an in-depth qualitative study of HE students at a UK campus university. Students stressed the importance of friendship for comfort and a sense of ‘belonging’. Nevertheless, students describe the continuation of cliques, hierarchies, and exclusions that are more commonly linked to sociality at school. Despite the conception that friendship is an individual experience, it is very much influenced by social positionings such as gender, class, age, and ethnicity – having significant repercussions for students in relation to happiness and wellbeing at university.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Read, Dr Barbara
Authors: Read, B., Burke, P. J., and Grozier, G.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Robert Owen Centre
Journal Name:Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0159-6306
ISSN (Online):1469-3739
Published Online:06 April 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
First Published:First published in Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education 41(1): 70-82
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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