Young People’s Educational Identities in Challenging Times
The title of my presentation was Climbing the Beanstalk: Self-worth and Education. It was a challenge for me to think about my research in a different light. That is, how it could be related to young people’s educational identities. I largely let the students’ words speak for themselves to demonstrate that one of the themes that seemed to emerge was that a large part of their identity at school. In particular the students had an awareness of the current economic crisis and its consequences for their future. They felt under pressure to achieve academically. While some students felt supported to meet educational goals, and were therefore more confident in their futures, others did not feel supported and tended to think negatively based on the experiences of their families. As a result these young people felt powerless and frustrated, with low self-worth despite their potential.
The keynote speaker was Dr Sara Delamont. She gave an interesting view on sociology as a subject and how female researchers work was becoming forgotten about because of male and female academics citing a biased ratio of male authors, despite many women working the field (something for all us PhD students to bear in mind, to be inclusive in our referencing). Obviously a PhD supervisor has more power to insist on this being done by their students. So I’ll be checking with mine that they are aware of this issue! This also affects journals and books. One series of books Dr Delamont mentioned wasn’t going to include a book on Gender until she pointed out it was missing. Something for us all to be aware of in our own referencing and when writing book reviews.
Other speakers:-
Siobhan Dytham – The Dynamic and Contestable Nature of Friendship Groups at Secondary School
Shelagh Keogh and John Fulton – An Exploration of a Free Schools and the Application of Bourdieu’s Theories of Habitus, Capital and Field
Natalie Campbell – Higher Education Experiences of the Paralympic Student
John Fulton – Learning Through Amateur Boxing
Maria Papapolydorou and Patrick Ainley – Aspiring middle class people who come from working class backgrounds may, one day ‘marry a prince’

Emma Parfitt

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