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Looking for Love in the Student Experience

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter (peer-reviewed)

Forthcoming
Publication date2019
Host publicationPost-critical perspectives on higher education: Retrieving the educational in the university
EditorsNaomi Hogson, Joris Vlieghe, Piotr Zamojski
PublisherSpringer
Original languageEnglish

Publication series

NameDebating Higher Education
PublisherSpringer

Abstract

This chapter represents an early attempt to engage and think with the ethos that underpins the Manifesto for a Post-Critical Pedagogy (Hodgson et al. 2017), specifically from a sociology of education perspective. The Manifesto is an exhortation to move beyond the critical by also celebrating what we may love and therefore wish to preserve in education. With this in mind, the author undertakes a re-examination of the literature on the university student experience in the UK. They argue that, outside pedagogical research on students, there are three overlapping but somewhat distinct literatures, each of which focuses primarily on social inequalities, aspects of marketization, or geographies, in relation to higher education. It appears that there are gaps in each of these bodies of scholarship, with some dimensions of identity underrepresented in the first, surprisingly little empirical work in the second, while the third has attracted minimal attention to date. Furthermore, it seems that there is little to love in our current understanding of the student experience as the overwhelming focus is on dysfunctions in and around UK higher education. Applying the tenets of a Post-Critical Pedagogy does suggest that widening our scope would allow for an extension of the literature and a more positive appreciation of the UK student experience. At the same time, though, there may be some aspects of the Manifesto that require minor revisions.