Challenging cultures? Student conceptions of 'belonging' and 'isolation' at a post-1992 university

Read, B. , Archer, L. and Leathwood, C. (2003) Challenging cultures? Student conceptions of 'belonging' and 'isolation' at a post-1992 university. Studies in Higher Education, 28(3), pp. 261-277. (doi: 10.1080/03075070309290)

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Academic culture is not uniformly accessed or experienced. Whilst financial constraints have a major impact on student entry and retention, students from 'non-traditional' backgrounds are also disadvantaged by institutional cultures that place them as 'other'. Individuals do not passively receive these cultural discourses, however, but actively engage with them and attempt to challenge them. This article explores such negotiations by looking at students' conceptions of 'belonging' and 'isolation' at a post-1992 university with a statistically high proportion of 'non-traditional' students in terms of class, maturity and ethnicity. It looks at: the extent to which such students can challenge their positioning as 'other' by choosing a university where they feel they can 'belong'; the extent to which institutional academic cultures work to constrain and disrupt such feelings of 'belonging'; the adoption of alternative discourses of the student-lecturer/student-institution relation, and the extent to which such discourses can challenge feelings of isolation and marginalisation in the academy.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Read, Dr Barbara
Authors: Read, B., Archer, L., and Leathwood, C.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Journal Name:Studies in Higher Education
ISSN (Online):1470-174X
Published Online:25 August 2010

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