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Imagining futures in changing locales: de-industrialisation and education work interfaces

Marshall, Judith 2008. Imagining futures in changing locales: de-industrialisation and education work interfaces. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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The study investigated men and women's engagement with education in two South Wales valley communities across three generations. It drew upon theoretical tools from social representations theory (Moscovici, 1984) to map dominant social representations circulating in two South Wales valley communities—Abertillery and Ynysawdre. Both communities had experienced a traumatic rupture in community life due to the closure of coal mining in their locales. This study understands social representations as belonging to communities, anchored in the strategies and practices that are particular to that locale and its specific history, and recognises that they influence action and interaction. A snowball sampling method was used to recruit men and women of three generations—16–25 years, 30–45 years and 50–70 years—who were given two research instruments. The first instrument was a semi-structured photo-elicitation interview. The photographs re-presented aspects of the visual and material culture of the locale. Questions related to the locale and to experiences of education and work. The second instrument was an unstructured interview that elicited experiences of education and work. A thematic analysis identified themes, or social representations, that related to the dominant social representations of education and work. Although individual accounts were elicited, differences in the appropriation of social representations and the meanings they held were found between locales, between generations and between genders. Data from both instruments allowed the structure of social representations within each locale to be mapped, which illustrated gender differences and change across generations. A narrative analysis of individual accounts demonstrated how social representations circulating in the locale became psychically active and acted as symbolic resources as individuals and groups made sense of the rupture in the community. Local communities constrain and facilitate what is available for constructing narrative accounts and social identities in relation to education and work, which shift across time.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
ISBN: 9781303217616
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 23:31

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