Time for studies : critical temporalities of the professional development of working students in South Africa
Working students registered for a professional degree, who are also employed in public service, have some interesting hurdles to overcome with finding time for studies (from attending classes, and completing assignments to writing exams). Central to this study is using theories of Critical Temporalities around working university students and the time they have for studies, at home or in the workplace. Critical Temporalities is a way of understanding and describing the time, timing and time-related issues and concerns that the students have. Critical Temporalities examines an often over-looked aspect of working students’ experience as they undertake their professional development studies. The overarching theoretical orientation for this thesis is the contradictions of Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) as applied to the professional development and time for studies. There is also an analysis of the temporal dimensions theory from sociology of time in the workplace as it relates to time for professional degree studies. Two major insights result from the research. Firstly, a confirmation that there are multi-faceted levels of personal disadvantage (that is, a mix of social and cultural issues) that affect the time for studies related choices of these selected students. And secondly, the particular kind of feeling or perception of acceleration in the pace of life that these students experience whilst studying is a notable feature of their university based professional development.