Student geographies and homemaking: personal belonging(s) and identities
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Studies of the ‘geographies of students’ have become increasingly prevalent across the social sciences and are particularly concerned with the predilection for young UK University undergraduates to be mobile in their institutional choice. A more recent focus within this work has been upon student identities, with attention given to how the spaces to which students move and in which they settle can have both positive and negative consequences for the evolution of the student identity, and how such identities are often framed within the context of social activities; learning environments; friendship networks; or other sociocultural factors. This paper contributes to these discussions by considering the role of student accommodation – a site which often remains on the periphery of discussions of student identities – in offering students opportunities to construct, adapt and manage their student identities. This adds to the important contemporary geographies of student accommodation, which are currently debating, among others, purpose-built student accommodation and the broad housing ‘careers’ and strategies of students. In contrast, this paper explores the micro-geographies of student accommodation (and more specifically, the bedroom) to highlight its value in providing young, mobile students with an anchor within which they can draw together their learner, social and domestic dispositions into one geographical location.
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