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Being in constant transition or recurrent formation: Non-traditional graduates’ life transitions before, during and after higher education in Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2019 (English)In: Studies in the Education of Adults, ISSN 0266-0830, E-ISSN 1478-9833, Vol. 59, no 1, p. 36-54Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this article is to examine non-traditional graduates’ life transitions before, during, and after higher education (HE) in Sweden. The article builds on a theory called biographical work, which is used for understanding non-traditional graduates’ identity formation and transformation. The article is based on the narratives of two non-traditional graduates who were selected from biographical interviews with nine non-traditional graduates, 2–5 years after graduation from HE. By exploring significant events, learning paths and the formation and transformation of identities in the two graduates’ lives, we identified two expressions of their ongoing life transitions: being in recurrent formation and being in constant transition. Being in recurrent formation means returning to well-known paths in life and learning reactively by reflecting on experiences, whereas being in constant transition means a constant focus on what is next in life and a constant commuting between reactive and proactive learning, i.e. by both reflecting on experiences and preparing oneself for the next move. In the article, we discuss what it means to be in transition as a non-traditional graduate. We conclude that the theory of biographical work helps to understand identity formation and transformation processes in periods of transition, and also how periods of transition occur as parts of biographical learning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 59, no 1, p. 36-54
Keywords [en]
Non-traditional graduates, life transitions, biographical work, identity formation and transformation
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-162257DOI: 10.1080/02660830.2018.1523102OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-162257DiVA, id: diva2:1264636
Available from: 2018-11-20 Created: 2018-11-20 Last updated: 2019-04-29Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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