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Type: Journal article
Title: Opening spaces of academic culture: doors of perception; heaven and hell
Author: Habel, C.
Whitman, K.
Citation: Higher Education Research and Development, 2016; 35(1):71-83
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 0729-4360
Statement of
Chad Habel and Kirsty Whitman
Abstract: Academic culture is a distinct and unique field, and perhaps may best be conceptualised as a space. Although access to university has traditionally been restricted, recent efforts on a number of fronts have attempted to ‘open’ the space of the academy. In particular, enabling programmes such as Preparatory Programs and Foundation Courses aim to provide both access and enabling experiences to students who have found the doors of the university closed to them. The research reported here combined a Bourdieuian framework with a phenomenological methodology to explore the lived experience of students who were most of the way through such a programme at a Go8 Australian university. Thirteen students were interviewed and the data were analysed for experiences of enculturation and positive transformation, as well as alienation and negative transformation. The results showed that while in general the students are able to adopt the habitus of academic culture this was a painful and difficult process, and not entirely successful in all cases. This, combined with the inherent limitations of much research of this kind, gives us reason to pause in the overarching story of social mobility that usually surrounds these types of programmes.
Keywords: Access and equity; Bourdieu; cultural capital; enabling programmes; Foundation Studies; habitus; low-SES; Preparatory Program
Rights: © 2016 HERDSA
RMID: 0030046081
DOI: 10.1080/07294360.2015.1133570
Appears in Collections:Education publications

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