University Students Resisting Academic Identity

  • Bethan Benwell
  • Elizabeth Stokoe

Abstract

A commonly documented phenomenon in educational settings in the UK has been students’ resistance to academic tasks and identity (e.g. Felder and Brent 1996; Francis, 1999, 2000; Willis 1977). This resistance tends to take the form of challenging the teacher, joking and doing the minimum amount of work necessary. It has chiefly been researched within the compulsory sector and tends to assert an association between resistance and masculinity, although recent studies suggest a similar pattern among girls (Pichler 2002). In an interview-based study of London schoolboys, Phoenix and Frosh (2001) suggested that antagonism to school-based learning was influential in determining pupil popularity. In a similar study carried out with Australian pupils, Martino (2000: 102) suggested that pupils resisted the teacher’s task and the institutional agenda by preferring to ‘muck around’ in class, ‘give crap’ and ‘act cool’.

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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bethan Benwell
  • Elizabeth Stokoe

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