Journal article

Stigmatised learners: mature-age students negotiating university culture

Mark Mallman, Helen Lee

BRITISH JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY OF EDUCATION | ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD | Published : 2016

Abstract

Research on the socially-situated nature of learning shows how practices and identities are affected by participation in communities, but very little is known about how mature-age students experience the relational dynamics of university. Based on data from a qualitative study of first-year students, we consider written accounts by older learners to examine how they negotiate the culture of higher education. We found that mature-age students encounter a university culture dominated by younger students, who draw separating boundaries between the social and the academic and stigmatise older students because of their academic practices. Drawing on Lave and Wenger’s learning theory, we examine t..

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