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Inequalities in Students' Union Leadership: the role of social networks

Brooks, RM, Byford, K and Sela, K (2015) Inequalities in Students' Union Leadership: the role of social networks Journal of Youth Studies, 18 (9). pp. 1204-1218.

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Abstract

Drawing on a national survey of students’ union officers and staff, and a series of 24 focus groups involving both union officers and institutional senior managers, this article explores the characteristics of those who take up leadership roles in their (higher education) students’ union. We show that, in several areas – and particularly in relation to gender, ethnicity and age – union leaders do not represent well the diversity of the wider student body. In explaining these inequalities, we argue that friendship groups and other peer networks play a significant role in determining who does and does not take up leadership positions. Moreover, as friendship groups are often formed on the basis of ‘differential association’ and are thus frequently socially homogenous, inequalities tend to be perpetuated. Wider institutional cultures and societal norms are also implicated.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Sociology
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Brooks, RMUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Byford, KUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Sela, KUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 10 June 2015
Identification Number : 10.1080/13676261.2015.1039971
Related URLs :
Additional Information : © 2015 Taylor & Francis. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Journal of Youth Studies on 10/06/2015, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/13676261.2015.1039971
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 16 Sep 2015 13:32
Last Modified : 16 Sep 2015 13:32
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/807388

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