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Extract (bibliography omitted) from the chapter in S. Frosh, J. Walsh, M. Vyrgioti (eds), Palgrave Handbook of Psychosocial Studies, London: Palgrave.


A student arrives early for my assignment tutorial and asks whether they can sit in on the other students’ discussions, rather than talk about their own essay. Two or three more students arrive, sit together, and talk through their notes with me. I occasionally glance towards the first student, who is sitting on a table slightly behind the main group. As another student is explaining their ideas, the first announces, ‘I really have to go to the library’, jumps down from the table and leaves the classroom.

Later, I’m in the canteen. The student from earlier comes up and touches the top of my arm to attract my attention. They run their fingers gently down to my elbow. Then they apologize, say they weren’t prepared for the tutorial today, and ask if I’ll have time to see them later in the week. They say they think they really need my help.