Australian Journal of Education

Article Title

Social class, identity and the 'good' student: negotiating university culture


Through the use of narrative portraits this paper discusses social class and identity, as working-class university students perceive them. With govern- ment policy encouraging wider participation rates from under-represented groups of people within the university sector, working-class students have found themselves to be the objects of much research. Working-class students are, for the most part, studied as though they are docile bodies, unable to participate in the con- struction of who they are, and working-class accounts of university experiences are quite often compared to the middle-class norms. This paper explores how working- class students see themselves within the university culture. Working-class students' voices and stories form the focus of this paper, in which the language of `disadvantage' is dealt with and the ideologies of class identity explored.