Minding the Gap? Young People’s Accounts of Taking a Gap Year As A Form of Identity Work in Higher Education
By Andrew King
King, Andrew. "Minding the Gap? Young People’s Accounts of Taking a Gap Year as
a Form of Identity Work in Higher Education." EBSCO eBook Collection,
Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, May 2011, web.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/
ta=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=59530281&db=aph. Accessed 6 Mar. 2017.
I his piece, Minding the Gap? Andrew King extends gap year research into the context of higher education. He explores the relationships between students who have taken a gap year and how it has further prepared them for college in terms of identity work that they have performed and various forms of cultural capital they they have acquired.
Andrew King joined the University of Surrey in December 2012 and teaches across a range of programs in the Department of Sociology. He is also the Co-Editor of Sociology (the flagship journal of the BSA), Co-Director of the Centre for Research on Ageing and Gender and former Chair of the European Sociological Association Sexuality Research Network (2011-2015), and received the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence in 2014.
5. Key Terms
Identity Work: the notion of identity negotiation may arise from the learning of social roles through personal experience. Identity negotiation is a process in which a person negotiates with society at large regarding the meaning of his or her identity.
Cultural Capital: social assets of a person (education, intellect, style of speech and dress, etc.) that promote social mobility in a stratified society
“Educational credentials are no longer a guarantee of success: university students must therefor seek to gain advantage through alternative channels, including developing a suitable”personality package” composed of communication skills and character traits favored by graduate employers” (page 343).
“…third world travel experiences act as cultural capital, giving one something to display to peers….a social network that will be used to actively gain material advantage in the future” (page 343).
This piece has become one of the main sources for my research, it is the major building block for my thesis and major argument. That being, students who take a gap year are able to explore, manipulate, and enhance their identities while at the same time gaining social skills and connections that will greatly benefit them in their higher education and future career searches.