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Theorising Cohortness: (Mis)Fitting into Student Geographies

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journal contribution
posted on 11.04.2019, 11:36 by G Brown, P Kraftl
This paper advances a theory of “cohortness” for understanding the experience and articulation of identities. Using a case study focusing on higher education students, we argue that thinking in terms of cohorts enables an alternative way to examine how people perform, feel, and express their subjectivities collectively, especially within institutional spaces. Our analysis is based on an ongoing research‐education project, which ran over five years and involved over 250 undergraduate students at a post‐1992 UK university. The project involved large groups of students engaging in an exercise on “mis/fitting,” which encouraged them to articulate (as individuals and groups) which identities it was “easy” to perform/hold/display as students, and which it was not. The project also involved a range of subsequent reflective discussions with each group. Our data provide striking insights into how year groups produce “cohortness” in different ways and across intersecting scales. In this paper, we focus on three key themes, which are underpinned by an often ambivalent articulation of contemporary neoliberal ideals: mixtures of deliberation and chance in the production of in‐class, micro‐spatial, intertextual dialogues; the intersection of norms and commonalities in the naming of some identity groups (such as sporting interests) and hiding of others (such as fandom); and the significance of personality, performative, and/or bodily traits compared with other aspects of identity.

History

Citation

Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 2019

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/School of Geography, Geology and the Environment/Human Geography

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

Publisher

Wiley for 1. Institute of British Geographers 2. Royal Geographical Society

issn

0020-2754

eissn

1475-5661

Acceptance date

14/02/2019

Copyright date

2019

Publisher version

https://rgs-ibg.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/tran.12302

Notes

The file associated with this record is under embargo until 24 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.

Language

en

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