You can catch Jessie next week at the Society for Research into Higher Education conference in Newport (6th -8th December). She will be presenting a paper entitled: ‘‘There’s a lot of us, if we wanted to make a difference we could’: Exploring undergraduate students’ understandings of themselves as ‘political actors’ in England and Ireland’. The paper explores early findings from the focus groups and policy documents in England and Ireland.
Whilst higher education (HE) students have historically been conceptualised as important ‘political actors’, arguably the extent to which they are able to have a voice in society is likely to differ in particular contexts and countries. In this paper we draw upon data collected from focus groups with HE students in England and Ireland alongside analysis of policy documents in each country to consider the extent to which students are constructed (and feel) like important political actors. Findings suggest that, contrary to perceptions that English and Irish students are largely similar, Irish students appeared more empowered than English students in relation to perceptions of themselves as influencing policy. Narratives present in the policy documents mirror these findings, with students in Ireland located as key political actors to a greater extent than in the English documents.
You can read the full outline paper here
Jessie will be presenting this paper as part of a symposium with colleagues: Laura Bentley; Kirsty Finn; Adam Formby; Nicola Ingram; Vanda Papafilippou. The session is entitled: Political Identities and Generational Solidarities: Students and Graduates Negotiating Contemporary Crises and will take place on Friday 8th December at 9:00am.
More information can be found in the conference programme