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    ‘Most of the people my age tend to move out’: Young men talking about place, community and belonging in Manchester

    Badwan, Khawla ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1808-724X and Wilkinson, Samantha ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1564-5472 (2019) ‘Most of the people my age tend to move out’: Young men talking about place, community and belonging in Manchester. Boyhood Studies, 12 (2). pp. 29-50. ISSN 2375-9240

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    Abstract

    Universities are as a means of leaving for the city for young people living increasingly precarious and mobile lives. This paper explores how male university students (aged 18-25) talk about, and belong to, the places they inhabit in Greater Manchester, UK. Drawing on mixed-methods data collection from survey responses and in-depth semi-structured interviews, this paper finds that whilst young men embrace liquid understandings of place, they express tensions between ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’. While universities appear to be significant places for male university students, only half of participants reported feelings of belonging to university communities. Consequently, this paper proposes recommendations for universities, in order to ensure male university students feel they can open up to staff, thereby enabling them to feel part of a ‘learning community’ - a key theme of the National Student Survey.

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