A qualitative exploration of university students' meaning-stories and meaning-story practices

Lawther, S., 2022. A qualitative exploration of university students' meaning-stories and meaning-story practices. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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Abstract

This thesis explores the student experience of religion and belief in higher education through the telling of students' meaning-stories. Existing literature highlights the positive impact of a religious identity to the student experience. It also, however, identifies a gap in the understanding of students’ actual experience of religion and belief on campus. Furthermore, the individual and complex nature of religion and belief and the experience of those that do not affiliate to a religion is relatively underexplored, and current debates on religious literacy highlight that we do not have the right words to talk about religion and belief as it is lived today. With these gaps in mind, this research captured the individual nature of religion and belief on campus. The thesis has used the term 'meaning-stories' to reflect the breadth of the students' contributions and the telling implicit in the students' engagement with the research. It also uses the term their 'thing' interchangeably with meaning-stories to reflect this breadth, a term directly derived from the students' use of words. This study is interpretative in its approach, drawing upon lived religion to capture the complexity of students' meaning-stories, and presents a new 'postcard method' created for this research. The findings provide insight into students' 'thing' as told in their meaning-stories, including how this supports their university life. Unique to this research is the identification of students' meaning-story practices that often take place on campus and may be hidden from peers. The research reveals that the individual nature of their meaning-stories is also reflected in the students' communication and identifies a need for an expanded understanding of connectedness. Based on the findings, the thesis makes recommendations about religion and belief on campus, the development of religious literacy, improvements for policy and practice, and areas for further research.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Lawther, S.
Date: March 2022
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed in the owner(s) of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 24 May 2022 11:00
Last Modified: 24 May 2022 11:00
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/46362

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