Accessing the phenomenon of incompatibility in working students’ experience of university life

Grozev, Vladislav H and Easterbrook, Matthew J (2022) Accessing the phenomenon of incompatibility in working students’ experience of university life. Tertiary Education and Management. pp. 1-24. ISSN 1358-3883

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University students in paid employment have less time for studying, report more stress, and participate in fewer extracurricular activities than non-employed students. These negative outcomes that result from combining work and study can cause employed students to experience the domains of work, study, and social life as practically incompatible, but also to experience a sense of identity incompatibility. Therefore, we used insights from previous quantitative and qualitative data on employed students and previous work on identity incompatibility to generate two research questions (RQs): RQ1. What type(s) of incompatibility (practical, identity or other) do employed students experience? and RQ2. What strategies have they adopted to reduce the experienced incompatibility? In order to answer these questions, we performed a thematic analysis with a deductive approach on transcripts from 21 UK university students who we interviewed. The students reported two types of incompatibilities: practical incompatibility, which stems from the lack of time, lack of energy, and lack of social contact associated with combining work and study; and identity incompatibility, which emanates from status differences and differences between one’s own and others’ perception of oneself. In order to reduce or resolve these incompatibilities, the students also developed practical (e.g. taking paid leave) and cognitive (e.g. compartmentalising contexts) strategies. Finally, the students also noted how the experience of practical incompatibility can reaffirm their values of hard work and productivity and make them resilient learners.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2022 11:36
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2022 11:45

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