Cochrane, Matthew (2015) Pupils' choices in their educational and career trajectories. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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Abstract

This thesis investigates the effect of social background on pupils’ choices of educational and career pathways. A group of 18 pupils, chosen from a single Comprehensive School in the North West of England, was followed from the ages of 13 to 16 as they encountered the options available to them when they chose their GCSE subjects. Data
were collected principally through focus group interviews with the pupils. The interviews were timed to coincide with key stages in the options process before and after the choices were made. Additional interviews were carried out with individual parents and members of staff at the school. Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus and cultural capital were used in the analysis of the data, which revealed evidence to support
Bourdieu’s notion that forms of capital are reproduced through investment by the family. Pupils with disadvantaged backgrounds were less likely to opt for Higher Education especially if it involved study at a significant distance from home.
A survey of the development of the English education system since the 1944 Education Act is used to support the conclusion that schools are also a significant agent for cultural reproduction. The school at the centre of the survey used data supplied and processed by the Fischer Family Trust to assist with the target setting process, and evidence suggested that this process was employed by the school as a mechanism to support progress towards targets set for it by the National Government. The support given to individual pupils to achieve targets set for them therefore became disconnected from the
educational need of the individual.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: habitus; cultural capital; social capital; reproduction; equality
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Science and Public Policy
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2016 08:33
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2016 08:33
URI: http://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/2327

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