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Navigating the inbetween space: how First in Family students transition into and through undergraduate study.

Campbell, L., 2020. Navigating the inbetween space: how First in Family students transition into and through undergraduate study. Doctoral Thesis (Doctoral). Bournemouth University.

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CAMPBELL, Laura_Ed.D._2020.pdf



This interpretivist study explores the experiences of First in Family students as they journey through their first and second year of university at a post-1992 institution. It seeks to understand their experiences through the use of verbal and visual methods (photo elicitation and photovoice) which were analysed using thematic analysis techniques. Eight first-year students studying three undergraduate degree courses participated in focus groups and in-depth interviews across their first and second year. During the sessions they were asked to choose printed photographs from a set of cards to discuss and also to select images they had taken themselves to represent their experience of student life. These images and photographs were used as the basis of the discussions. Although set in the context of the Widening Participation (WP) agenda, the focus is specifically on First in Family students and their unique experience of transitioning through university. Whilst the conceptual framework draws on Bourdieusian concepts of habitus/field and social and cultural capital, this study draws on aspects of sociological and psychological theory to explain the experiences of the participants. It sheds new light on the transition process undergone by this under-researched group of students, utilizing theories of resilience, place attachment and liminality to explain the findings. Most current research into transition focuses on access to university and the first year. These findings offer an alternative perspective on transition by presenting it as a process which takes place over a longer period. This research adds to our understanding of the transition process by shining a light on previously unexplored turning points, such as the importance of transferring the locus of home (a process I have termed ‘homification’) and the role this plays in creating a sense of engagement. This study deepens our understanding of how First in Family students exhibit resilience in their successful navigation of this period. This study suggests how universities can use an understanding of transition to more effectively support support the student homification process through the provision of physical and social spaces which nurture and support student transition.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information:If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Uncontrolled Keywords:First in Family; Widening Participation; transition; resilience; home; capitals
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:35046
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:12 Jan 2021 16:33
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:25


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