Macquarie University
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The shadow education market in Australia: a study of online tutoring intermediaries

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posted on 2022-03-28, 02:49 authored by Megan Sturges
This research examines the private tutoring market in NSW. While other researchers have conducted research on ‘learning centres’, this research focuses specifically on one-on-one ‘in home’ tutoring facilitated through online intermediaries. The methods encompass a content analysis of 65 websites that facilitate tutoring lessons, together with interviews with tutors who utilise these websites to find work. Within this thesis, the different intermediaries that exist within this market are classified and compared in relation to the functions that they perform. Research on online labour markets is used to try to explain how these intermediaries operate. This thesis also draws on classical economic sociology to explore the impact of different kinds of intermediation on tutors’ work and their relationships with their students. This shows the influence of intermediaries on the flexibility of the job of being a tutor and the way that tutors find students to tutor. I also demonstrate how tutors generate a trusting relationship between themselves and their students and show how intermediaries attempt to foster a similar relationship between their users.


Table of Contents

Chapter One. Introduction -- Chapter Two. Literature review -- Chapter Three. Methods and methodology -- Chapter Four. Intermediary structure -- Chapter Five. Results and discussion of interviews -- Chapter Six. Conclusion -- Reference list -- Appendices.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 72-84

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Sociology

Department, Centre or School

Department of Sociology

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Gabrielle Meagher

Additional Supervisor 1

Ben Spies-Butcher


Copyright Megan Sturges 2018. Copyright disclaimer:




New South Wales


1 online resource (103 pages) tables

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