Aiken, Verity Jane (2019) Between a rock and a hard place: exploring the views and accounts of undergraduate student writers in a consumer-led Higher Education system. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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This thesis problematizes the student-as-consumer mantra from the perspective of students’ academic writing. It is beginning to be argued that a consumer-led higher education sector reducing the value of a degree to employability credentials leaves little space for considering variant and diverse approaches to higher educational learning. The premise of this thesis is that this applies to the business of student writing, in ways that are under-discussed.
Academic literacies theory argues that changes in Higher Education shapes significantly writing and assessment practices in ways that can be applied to consider student writing in a consumer-led and high-fee Higher Education system. This thesis uses Academic Literacies theory along with Thesen’s notion of ‘the tilting point’ in relation to ‘voice’ to explore how far and in what ways students’ understanding of their writing is perceived as a matter of developing disciplinary understanding and identity or amassing capital in the form of a qualification, and how students attempt to reconcile these divergent narratives.
The thesis explores these issues through a small-scale qualitative study at a pre-1992 university, drawing on 20 semi-structured interviews with undergraduate students. It applies Thematic Network Data Analysis to reveal ways in which this process is felt as a site of both compliance and resistance, containing both certainties and trepidations. Through this analysis, the thesis also reveals ways that risk and power are intricately involved in the way these students attempt to navigate writing.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: This electronic version of the thesis has been edited solely to ensure compliance with copyright legislation and excluded material is referenced in the text. The full, final, examined and awarded version of the thesis is available for consultation in hard copy via the University Library.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Science and Public Policy
Contributors: Findlow, Sally (Thesis advisor)
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2019 15:53
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2022 01:30

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