1st Edition

Reimagining the Higher Education Student Constructing and Contesting Identities

Edited By Rachel Brooks, Sarah O’Shea Copyright 2021
    280 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    280 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Drawing on the perspectives of scholars and researchers from around the world, this book challenges dominant constructions of higher education students. Given the increasing number and diversity of such students, the book offers a timely discussion of the implicit and sometimes subtle ways that they are characterised or defined. Topics vary from the ways that curriculum designers ‘imagine’ learners, the complex and evolving nature of student identity work, through to newspaper and TV representations of university attendees.

    Reimagining the Higher Education Student seeks to question the accepted or unquestioned nature of ‘being a student’ and instead foreground the contradictions and ‘messiness’ of such ideation. Offering timely insights into the nature of the student experience and providing an understanding of what students may desire from their Higher Education participation, this book covers a range of issues, including:

    • Impressions versus the reality of being a Higher Education student
    • Portrayals of students in various media including newspapers, TV shows and online
    • Generational perspectives on students, and students as family members

    It is a valuable resource for academics and students both researching and working in higher education, especially those with a focus on identities, their importance and their constructions.

    Series Editors’ Introduction

    Jennifer M. Case and Jeroen Huisman

    Chapter 1. Reimagining the higher education student: an introduction

    Rachel Brooks and Sarah O’Shea

    Chapter 2. On becoming a university student: young people and the ‘illusio’ of higher education

    Sally Patfield, Jenny Gore and Leanne Fray

    Chapter 3. "She’s like, ‘you’re a uni student now’": the influence of mother-daughter relationships on the constructions of learner identities of first-in-family girls

    Sarah McDonald

    Chapter 4. Constructions of náksèuk-săa: tracing contested imaginings of the Thai university student

    Thornchanok Uerpairojkit and James Burford

    Chapter 5. The shifting subjectification of the ‘widening participation’ student: the affective world of the ‘deserving’ consumer

    Emily Danvers and Tamsin Hinton-Smith

    Chapter 6. Dispelling the myth of the ‘traditional’ university undergraduate student in the UK

    Grace Sykes

    Chapter 7. Imagining the constructivist student online: actively engaged learner or vulnerable student in need?

    Kate O’Connor

    Chapter 8. Dominant higher education imaginaries: forced perspectives, ontological limits and recognising the imaginer’s frame

    Matt Lumb and Matthew Bunn

    Chapter 9. Reframing the ‘traditional learner’ into the ‘partner’ in higher education: conflicting subjectivities and behavioural expectations of the undergraduate ‘student’ in UK universities

    Eloise Symonds

    Chapter 10. Constructing the university student in British documentary television

    Kay Calver and Bethan Michael-Fox

    Chapter 11. Constructing students as family members: contestations in media and policy representations across Europe

    Anu Lainio and Rachel Brooks

    Chapter 12. Student millennials/Millennial students: how the lens of generation constructs understandings of the contemporary HE student

    Kirsty Finn, Nicola Ingram and Kim Allen

    Chapter 13. Exploring spaces in-between: Reimagining the Chinese student in a transnational higher education context in China

    Paola R.S. Eiras and Henk Huijser

    Chapter 14. Between international student and immigrant: a critical perspective on Angolan and Cape Verdean students in Portugal

    Elisa Alves and Russell King

    Chapter 15. Conclusion

    Sarah O’Shea and Rachel Brooks


    Rachel Brooks is Professor of Sociology at the University of Surrey, UK, and an executive editor of the British Journal of Sociology of Education.

    Sarah O’Shea is a Professor and Director of the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE) which is hosted by Curtin University, Australia.