22 SES 12 B, Non-Traditional Students’ Meeting Higher Education. Academic Integration and Drop Out.
Aim of the study and theoretical framework As part of basic research into university dropouts, this paper will focus on non-traditional students. By applying Pierre Bourdieu's theoretical framework, the study aims to reconstruct the habitus-field constellations and codes of symbolic violence that are connected or related to the dropping out process. Method A qualitative approach was used. The study followed constructivist grounded theory in the collection of relevant data using narrative interviews as well as a focus group discussion with non-traditional students who had dropped out of university. Results The study highlights the key role played by both the habitus-field constellation and the experiences of symbolic violence in the dropping out process. Clandestine forms of symbolic violence can be illuminated in particular due to the fact that most dropouts understand their exit from higher education to be a consequence of their own choices. The study also shows that the discrepancy between the family and the institutional habitus is one of the major obstacles for non-traditional students. Thus, Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus, field and symbolic violence offer further insights into our understanding of the dropping out process.
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