Spending Right? Precariat Students’ Experience of Student Loans
MetadataShow full item record
Drawing on the concepts of “habitus” (Bourdieu & Passeron, 1990), “stigma management,” (Goffman, 1963) and “moral boundaries” (Sayer, 2005) which feature strongly in the existing literature on working-class students, this study examines the ways that student loans facilitate precariat students’ transition into the middle-class dominant university setting. The precariat is distinct from the working class as it describes a group of people most affected by increasing labour force flexibility. Through qualitative interviewing with precariat students, this study examines how student loans facilitate (or not) precariat students’ transitions to university, focusing on the ways in which precariat students allocate their funds amongst myriad pressures to integrate into a middle-class setting and how this may or may not be compounded by a history of precarity. As precariat students struggle to keep up with their middle-class peers they often experience financial insufficiency as their own personal and moral shortcomings and the Canadian Student Loan Program is not designed to recognize their diverse needs. This study may contribute to the understanding of the experiences of non-traditional student populations and the strengths and weaknesses of the Canadian Student Loan Program.