Presented by Toni Beardmore (Aberystwyth University)

This presentation introduces the idea of using the lifeworld existential ‘lived time’ as an analytical framework to explore the experiences of working-class students in university. There has been a dearth of research using lifeworld existentials to explore the interplay between working-class identities and higher education, and this research aims to demonstrate how it can be used to explore narratives which extend beyond statistical data.

Through a phenomenological lens, this research delves into the subjective, temporal, and existential dimensions of working-class students’ lived experiences. It provides a nuanced understanding of how these students navigate challenges unique to their working-class habitus, understand and construct identity, and interpret their place in the field of higher education, whilst considering the temporal dimension as an essential aspect of their educational journey.

This research argues that lifeworld existentials provides a holistic approach to understanding factors shaping the working-class student journey, and thus contributes to a better understanding of their lived experience in higher education, and educational narratives.

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