Higher Education

, Volume 59, Issue 5, pp 615–626 | Cite as

Staff conceptions of curricular and extracurricular activities in higher education

  • Sue Clegg
  • Jacqueline Stevenson
  • John Willott


This paper explores conceptions of curricular and extracurricular in UK higher education. Reporting on a case study of staff understandings of the extracurricular we argue that our data highlight the lack of debate about curricular matters. We found that there was considerable blurring of boundaries in conceptions of the curricular and extracurricular and argue that this is related to the lack of any stable or explicit conception of the curriculum in UK higher education. The paper highlights issues of recognition and non-recognition of the sorts of cultural capital which flow from traditional and other forms of extracurricular activities (ECA) and points to the continued gendering of caring and its valuing. Recognition of capital from within diverse communities and derived from activities which have not been traditionally conceptualised as ECA might contribute to graduate outcomes, but there are limitations to a politics of recognition. We argue that account also needs to be taken of the materiality of student lives and the constraints they face.


Extracurricular activities Curricular Cultural capital Staff conceptions Gender 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Research into Higher EducationLeeds Metropolitan UniversityLeedsUK

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