The influence of regional culture on post-sixteen educational choices and directions from school in Lincolnshire: a qualitative study
This thesis investigates the influence of regional culture on young people's decision making when considering post-sixteen educational choices and directions from school. The data is provided by life story interviews with young people - aged eighteen to twenty years, 'born and bred' in Lincolnshire - who have followed four pathways from compulsory education. Within the context of Lincolnshire the influence of rurality is a major element of regional culture and figures in much of the discussion and analysis.
The work of Pierre Bourdieu in defining culture through field and habitus is used as a theoretical perspective in the data analysis and conclusions. The research highlights the continued importance of family and community habitus in the decision-making processes of young people. The interviews are used to consider the relative field positions important in defining individuals' post-sixteen pathways. The nature of rurality as a social construct rather than simply a reflection of physical geography is discussed and conclusions offered as to its possible effect on preferred post-sixteen pathways. The relative importance given to physical and social characteristics of rurality is used to construct a series of cultural indicators for rural communities.
The data would support the conclusion that new initiatives designed to increase participation rates in post-sixteen education are having some effect, but only among those young people predisposed through family habitus to continuing education. Those young people whose family habitus most closely coincides with pedagogic authority are most likely to operate comfortably within the educational habitus and hence continue with formal education beyond sixteen.
The thesis suggests the real differences in habitus between urban and rural communities requires a shift in the policy debate if rural people are to participate fully in the notion of lifelong learning.
NB. This ethesis has been created by scanning the typescript original and contains some inaccuracies. In case of difficulty, please refer to the original text.