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Rethinking ‘disadvantage’ in higher education: a paradigmatic case study using narrative analysis

Marshalla, Delia; Caseb, Jennifer

Abstract:
This article explores the use of narrative analysis to provide a methodology for student learning research with a socio cultural orientation. The narrative which is the primary focus of this article is drawn from a study in which a series of individual interviews was conducted with a class of senior engineering students. The interview with a particular student emerged as a ‘paradigmatic’ case, in that it represented a rich example of student success against a background of disadvantage. The analysis presented in the article leads to a questioning of some of the commonly held views on disadvantage in higher education. It is argued that the coping strategies developed in a ‘disadvantaged’ social background could form useful resources for succeeding in higher education, and that the construction of identity could be crucial for mobilising these resources. Questions are consequently raised about the extent to which these aspects of personal growth are supported by the formal curriculum and the professional workplace.

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Document Title: Rethinking ‘disadvantage’ in higher education: a paradigmatic case study using narrative analysis
Journal: Studies in Higher Education
Volume: 35
Issue: 5
No. of Pages: 491-504


Document Type:Journal Article (Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:Students
Country:South Africa
Keywords:South Africa, Student Learning, Disadvantaged Groups, Engineering Education


Rights:Society for Research into Higher Education
Date Added:11 May 2012


Marshalla, Delia; Caseb, Jennifer (2010) Rethinking ‘disadvantage’ in higher education: a paradigmatic case study using narrative analysis, Studies in Higher Education, Vol 35 (5): 491-504