Research Findings 9
Graduates’ responses to student loan debt in England: “sort of like an acceptance, but with anxiety attached”
Published August 2023

This paper summaries the findings of a paper recently published in Higher Education which asks how do indebted graduates in England respond to student loan debt and what does this tells us about the nature of the relationship between the graduate debtor and the state lender? It also questions the usefulness of symbolic violence as a sociological lens to better understand graduates’ different patterns of responses and reactions to student loan debt and their relationship with the state lender. It concludes that a more comprehensive explanation requires an exploration of both symbolic violence and structural violence and a re-appraisal of the word ‘violence’ to better represent the wide range of graduates’ responses.

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