Watson, Jo, Nind, Melanie, Humphris, Debra and Borthwick, Alan
Strange new world: applying a Bourdieuian lens to understanding early student experiences in higher education
British Journal of Sociology of Education, 30, (6), . (doi:10.1080/01425690903235144).
Occupational therapy pre-registration education stands at the intersection of the fields of health and social care and higher education. UK Government agendas in both fields have seen an increase in the number of students entering with non-traditional academic backgrounds, a group noted to experience particular challenges in negotiating the transition to, and persisting and succeeding within, higher education. Drawing on data from an ongoing longitudinal case study, a Bourdieuian lens is applied to exploring the early educational experiences of a group of these students during their first year of study and highlights a number of key issues, including the high-value status of linguistic capital and its relationship to understanding the rules governing practices within the learning environment, the processes via which students manage to adapt to or interestingly, to resist, the dominant culture of the field, and some of the barriers to finding a foothold and legitimate position within the new field
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