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Durham University

Policy, Professions and Communities Research Group


Publication details for Dr Sol Gamsu

Donnelly, Michael & Gamsu, Sol (2018). Regional structures of feeling? A spatially and socially differentiated analysis of UK student im/mobility. British Journal of Sociology of Education 39(7): 961-981.

Author(s) from Durham


This article explores the patterning of student im/mobility internally within the United Kingdom, using exceptionally detailed student records data on full-time undergraduate entrants from 2014. For this cohort of students, geographic mobility was clearly the preserve of the most socio-economically advantaged, and was less common for Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic groups. Significantly, the student’s ‘home’ region emerges as the most important factor driving im/mobility even when social, ethnic and educational differences are held constant. The concept ‘structures of feeling’ can help make sense of immobility in areas of the North-East, North-West and Wales, where students are likely to look on higher education choice through a different lens of accumulated and contemporary, inter-generational cultural experience. Exploring exceptions to the dominant trends, we also find a more complex patterning of im/mobility that is likely to reflect the deep historical and structural framing of young people’s socio-spatial horizons.