As a tutor and lecturer, I see many ‘Ritas’: mature women, who are often mothers, carers and partners returning to education with the ambition of learning and developing themselves academically, and for some qualifying into professional careers such as a nurse, social worker, biologist, and a university graduate. During their time on the course, as education opens their eyes and changes their mindsets, internal conflicts can occur for students who question who they are, who they are becoming and whether the person they are becoming should mean a rejection of their original social class identity or roles ascribed to them as women. This is significant because upward social mobility does not come without sacrifice (Lee and Kramer, 2012) and may lead to changes in relationships with friends and family, and a reflexive struggle with class identity. These struggles and changes are crucial to understanding whether, and how, their identity is changing and if that change creates a divide between them and their social class origins.
|Blog for The Sociological Review
|Media of output
|Published - 2 Apr 2021