Wain, Maria Jane (2018) Rites of passage in the age of social media: the experiences of millennial undergraduate students transitioning to higher education. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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In the UK the transition to higher education is being made by increasing numbers of students. While the decision to attend university is not one which is made by all young people, for those who choose to enter education, this transition is arguably one of the most important and complex periods of the life course. This thesis provides an empirical, qualitative, study of UK-based millennials as they transition to higher education. The study focuses on students narratives of their experiences of the transition in the weeks leading up to the physical transition and in the first few weeks of university. In order to build a comprehensive understanding of the period, the research places focus on exploring the intersection of the participant cohort‘s experiences of adulthood, moving away from home, and changes to the structures of their personal communities. To provide a rich source of data, thirty-four interviews were conducted across two research sites: Keele University and Manchester Metropolitan University. Interview data is analysed through the theoretical lens of van Gennep‘s Les rites de passage. The research places specific focus on analysing how the infiltration of social media into the everyday lives of millennials has altered their rites of passage with respect to their transition to university. Findings suggest that social media has evolved the ways in which millennial students manage their personal communities during the transition to university, and this impacts how students experience the stages of separation, transition and incorporation as outlined in Les rites de passage.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Science and Public Policy
Contributors: Featherstone, M (Thesis advisor)
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2018 12:43
Last Modified: 01 Jan 2021 01:30
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/4581

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