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Title: The other side of the bridge: A study of social capital in further education provision for young disabled people
Authors: Johnston, Craig E
Advisors: Bradford, S
Keywords: Social capital;Further education;Young disabled people
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Brunel University School of Sport and Education PhD Theses
Abstract: This thesis is a detailed account and analysis of young disabled people‟s inclusions within one Further Education College. These inclusions were tied to a number of complex interactions between the people who exist there and key reforms to Further Education systems which aim to support an individual‟s capacity to offer entrepreneurial performances. Central to these reforms is alternative provision, which offer places in college to school aged students who risk failing to invest in the work-related skills and knowledge that apparently has measurable consequences for future earnings and social justice. This thesis shows how the inclusion of young disabled people in a contemporary college community has some unintended effects and consequences, and how their lives were differentially affected by social capital arising from social networks based on trust. An emancipatory, qualitative methodology was used to gather data. The findings provide important insights into how young disabled people possess, produce and utilise social capital, to build new relationships, to develop identity, to resist or manipulate pre-assigned social roles, networks and resources and to make the transition from school to college. In their own words, young disabled people question the sense of optimism often attributed to alternative provision and the extent to which their existence in college has overcome the social barriers and closed networks that can be associated with disabled people as a marginalised group. To harness such existences and to further develop social capital theory, my conclusions set out a young disabled person‟s negotiation of college as an ethical project in which everyone - college students, teaching staff and researchers - have work to do on themselves. This makes alternative provision not something that is just done to many young disabled people but a project for which everyone is responsible. This thesis, therefore, re-reads the story of alternative provision with a wary eye, using a critical approach to social capital theory. In doing so, the research not only confirms the significance of social capital as a crucial analytical tool for young disabled people, but also confronts the overly positive underpinnings of the social capital debate in education.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University.
Appears in Collections:Education
Dept of Education Theses

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