First published in 1999, this volume centres on a case study which looks at the experiences of non-traditional adult women students in universities, from the perspective of the actors. The interaction of structure and agency and the significance of macro and micro levels in shaping the behaviour, attitudes and experiences of women adult students are examined by drawing on three perspectives: feminism, Marxism and interactionism. An underlying question is to what extent did studying change the way participants perceived themselves as women? It relates life histories to their student career as individuals and collectively as subcultural groups. It also breaks new ground by including a sample of male adult students in order to compare and clarify gender issues. It also uses macro and micro sociological theories as a tool for understanding the experiences of women at university and the relationship between their public and private lives. The book concludes that studying for a degree represented an active decision to take greater control, to break free from gender and class restraints, and to transform individual lives. The study aims to clarify and reassert the radical individual traditions within sociology, feminism and adult education.