'Not for the likes of me': the overlapping effect of social class and gender factors in the decision made by adults not to participate in higher education

Marks, A., Turner, E. and Osborne, M. (2003) 'Not for the likes of me': the overlapping effect of social class and gender factors in the decision made by adults not to participate in higher education. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 27(4), pp. 347-364. (doi: 10.1080/0309877032000128064)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0309877032000128064

Abstract

This paper, which includes data derived from two larger DfES and Scottish Executive funded studies, offers a consideration of working class gender norms as they pertain to the desire (or not) to attempt, and to successfully complete once attempted, a course of higher study in a British university. Consideration is given to attitudinal and behavioural norms for both sexes within the working class and an exploration is made of reasons for gender differentiated attitudes towards both studying itself and the capacity to successfully complete a course. For both males and females the capacity to be a 'good parent' was their first priority. However, males and females appeared to interpret the 'good parent' role differently. For males the ability to be an effective breadwinner was paramount, and any subsequent availability of paid work was often enough to trigger the desire to discontinue their studies. However, for females the desire to be an effective and visible role model for their communities was also important, and this acted as an encouragement (a 'pull') to them even in their worst moments of self-doubt. For a small number of females the 'push' factor of a significant (and often traumatic) 'life changing event', such as a divorce or a separation, acted as a 'push' towards learning. This is discussed in the light of Mezirow's 'perspective transformation' model.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Osborne, Professor Michael
Authors: Marks, A., Turner, E., and Osborne, M.
Subjects:L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC5201 Education extension. Adult education. Continuing education
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Social Justice Place and Lifelong Education
Journal Name:Journal of Further and Higher Education
ISSN:0309-877X
Published Online:03 August 2010

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