Going up without going away? working-class women in higher education

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This article draws upon the accounts of seven self-identified working-class women who attended a traditional UK university. Widening participation is clearly on the social policy agenda with failure to access higher education heavily coded, yet rarely explicitly named, as a working-class problem. Policies often fail to address the inequalities within the higher education environment. Ongoing disparities operate even after access has been achieved and this article aims to chart some of these processes. It relates female workingclass students’ everyday class encounters, powerful and continued class identifications
and resistances. Although interviewees may be seen as ‘upwardly mobile’ educational success stories, they still felt a notable sense of exclusion. Class and gendered inequalities were significant to them within and beyond the higher education environment, projected on to anticipated futures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-50
Number of pages16
JournalYouth and Policy
Issue number94
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • class
  • gender
  • higher education
  • mobility


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