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United Kingdom

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Thesis title: The elephant in the room. Learner perspectives of social and cultural inequality in the credential society

The research being undertaking is a phenomenological study of the role credentials such as GCSEs and A-levels have on social mobility. Narrative Enquiry is being used in two contrasting schools, one state and one independent, to understand the views learners have on the true role of credentials. While not dichotomous, the results of the enquiry will be used to understand whether these young people view credentials as a tool of social mobility, a view supported by education rhetoric or as a tool of social reproduction e.g. something that on the whole does not allow young people to transcend class structures but rather supports them.

Research for this thesis falls into the following generic areas.

  • Use and impact of credentials
  • Government education policy
  • Inequality within the English education system
  • Effective use of student voice
  • The English class system

Director of Studies

Dr Tina Byrom

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