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    Graduates’ responses to student loan debt in England: “sort of like an acceptance, but with anxiety attached”

    Callender, Claire and Davis, S. (2023) Graduates’ responses to student loan debt in England: “sort of like an acceptance, but with anxiety attached”. Higher Education , ISSN 0018-1560.

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    In 2020-21, 94% of undergraduates in England took out government-backed loans to fund their higher education. The growing and widespread use of student loans in England, mounting student debt, and governments' increasing dependence on tuition fees underwritten by loans to finance public higher education, raise important questions which this paper seeks to address. Specifically, the paper asks how do graduates respond to student loan debt and what does this tells us about the nature of the relationship between the graduate debtor and the state lender? We also question the usefulness of symbolic violence as a sociological lens to better understand graduates’ different patterns of responses and reactions to student loan debt and their relationship with the state lender. Our analysis draws on 98 in-depth qualitative interviews conducted with English graduates between 2020 and 2021. We conclude that a more comprehensive explanation requires an exploration of both symbolic violence and structural violence, and a re-appraisal of the word ‘violence’ to better represent the wide range of graduates’ responses.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Student loans, Student debt, symbolic violence, structural violence, England, Bourdieu, graduates, student finance, income-contingent loans
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Claire Callender
    Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2023 13:37
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:21


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