A research of four social worker students (study)lives through complextivity

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Lisa Eltved Bekskov Hansen
  • Ditte Graversgård Hansen
4. term, Learning and Innovative Change, Master (Master Programme)
Abstract
The educational level in Denmark has increased during the last century. As a result of this more and more students with parents without a higher education, are taking a higher educa-tion. There are several studies who focus on these kinds of students. A lot of these studies investigate them as “a-group-at-risk” and focus on which social, cultural and institutional challenges they have (Holmegaard, Madsen & Ulriksen, 2017). These studies have a risk of categorizing the students as part of a specific homogenic group. The ambition of this thesis is to investigate the students qualitatively in an attempt of seeing them as a heterogenic group with a complex mosaic of voices. We will focus on investigating social worker stu-dents as a total of 61% of them have parents without a higher education.

The aim of this thesis is to explore how social worker students get categorized and catego-rize others in their study lives. The thesis is based on a qualitative research approach and is done with the method participant-driven photo-elicitation. Four social worker students have taken pictures of their (study)lives. The pictures have afterwards been used as a focal point in interviews with the students.

The thesis draws on poststructuralist tradition and agential realism theory by Karen Barad. In the analysis we use the concept of intra-action and spacetimematter. This analysis demon-strates how the occupation of the parents seem to matter more than the parent’s educational level. Furthermore, the students seem to experience that talking with their parents have changed after starting on the social worker education. The analysis further demonstrates how the student’s everyday life inside the formal education cannot be separated from the stu-dent’s everyday life outside the formal education. The students do not experience a division between their education and spare time. They rather seem to experience having one (study)life. Finally, the analysis demonstrates how the students experience categorization in multiple ways in their (study)life. What seem to matter for the students is the experience of being categorized and the effect it has in their (study)life. In this thesis we conclude that the way students get categorized and categorize others in their (study)life is entangled with space(s), time(s) and matter(s). It is through these entanglements that categories emerge and effect students’ (study)life.

Keywords: Social worker students, categorization, agential realisme, participant-driven photo-elicitation, educational research.
LanguageDanish
Publication date31 May 2022
Number of pages72
ID: 471489644