Faculty of Education Research Seminar

6th Jun 2014, 12:30pm - 2:00pm

Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine

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‘They just don’t seem to really care, they just think it’s cool to sit there and talk’: Laddism in Higher Education – Professor Carolyn Jackson Centre for Social Justice and Wellbeing in Education Department of Educational Research Lancaster University

Student ‘lad culture’ has become a national issue. The phenomenon has become a catch-all term for anything from boozy boisterousness to casual misogyny and even sexual abuse. But despite numerous media reports on laddism, universities still have little idea of how widespread its effects are (Guardian.co.uk, 05/04/13).

Over the last 2-3 years there has been a sharp increase in the UK in the number of concerns voiced about ‘laddism’, ‘laddish’ or ‘lad’ cultures in higher education (H.E.). Drawing principally on a project that explored laddism on a sports science degree in a university in England, in this seminar I’ll explore constructions and understandings of laddism in H.E., particularly in teaching-learning contexts. Portraits of laddish university students were, in many ways, remarkably similar to those of secondary school lads. So at various points I’ll also refer to research findings from secondary schools to highlight the similarities and differences between constructions of laddism in the two sectors, and to facilitate analyses of the H.E. context. Undergraduates suggested that laddish behaviours in teaching-learning contexts included: talking and generally being loud; being a joker; throwing stuff; arriving late; and being rude and disrespectful to lecturers. Mature students (men and women) and women were particularly critical of these behaviours, and resented the ways they negatively impacted on their learning. The impacts of laddism on the lads themselves and on others will be explored, as will be the ways in which laddism is challenged.

For further information contact David Allan

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