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Sociology of Education (Bourdieu)

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Andrew Fergus Wilson

on 15 March 2013

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Transcript of Sociology of Education (Bourdieu)

Archer, Louise & Francis, Becky (2007). Understanding Minority Ethnic Achievement: Race, gender, class and ‘success’. Oxon: Routledge. pp34-37.
Harker, Richard (1990). Bourdieu: Education and Reproduction in R Harker, C Mahar and C Wilkes (1990) (Editors), An Introduction to the Work of Pierre Bourdieu: The Practice of Theory. Hampshire: The Macmillan Press Ltd, pp86-108
Website providing free example poster templates which can be downloaded into PowerPoint: http://www.studentposters.co.uk/templates.html Recommended reading & poster link Barnett, R. (2009) Knowing and becoming in the higher education curriculum In Studies in Higher Education 34:4 pp429-440
Bourdieu, P. (1980, 1990) The Logic of Practice Cambridge: Polity Press
Bourdieu, P. (1984) Distinction: a Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste, tr. Richard Nice. Harvard: Harvard University Press.
Bourdieu, P. (1994, 1998) Practical Reason Cambridge: Polity Press
Chickering, A. W., Gamson, Z. F. (1987) Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education In AAHE Bulletin Online (2003) Available from [WWW] http://honolulu.hawaii.edu/intranet/committees/FacDevCom/guidebk/teachtip/7princip.htm Viewed October 2010
Grenfell, M. (2008) (Ed) Pierre Bourdieu: Key Concepts Durham: Acumen
Maton, K. (2008) Habitus In Grenfell, M. (2008) (Ed) Pierre Bourdieu: Key Concepts Durham: Acumen
Moore, R. (2008) Capital In Grenfell, M. (2008) (Ed) Pierre Bourdieu: Key Concepts Durham: Acumen
Swartz, D. (1997) Culture and Power: The Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu London: University of Chicago Press
Teddlie, C., Tashakkori, A. (2009) Foundations of Mixed Methods Research London: Sage References and Resources Is the form that different capitals take once they are perceived and recognised as legitimate (eg status symbols)

Value of different forms of capital
depends on context
produced through relations to power
depends on whether recognised as legitimate
Recognised as symbolically legitimate if
close to dominant group
which ensures a high exchange value Symbolic capital Cultural capital exists in 3 forms

Embodied state
Long lasting dispositions of mind and body
Objectified state
Cultural goods
Institutionalised state
Educational qualifications Cultural capital Social participation and connections

Membership of social networks, groups, communities and families
Contacts that can offer knowledge, insights and access to elite establishments
Provides access to another important resource: Cultural capital Social capital Money

Private education

Extra tuition

Home near to best state schools Economic capital
the structural importance of class to people’s lives appears not to be recognised by people themselves. Culturally, class does not appear to be a self-conscious principle of social identity. Structurally, however, it appears to be highly pertinent.

(Savage, 2000 quoted in Archer and Francis, 2006, p34) Education and social class Dominant group
controls economic, social and political resources
decides which cultural past is to be preserved and ‘embodied’ in schools
treat that cultural heritage as undivided property of whole society, not preserve of few
habitus seen as natural and proper
Cultural reproduction is not perfect
So, some w/c children succeed, but most don’t
If too many do, the rules of the game change So, in short… Those internal embodied dispositions that allow an individual to occupy a social space and align themselves with its ‘distinct and distinctive practices’ (Bourdieu, 1994, 1998, p8) Habitus Developed byPierre Bourdieu [1930-2002]

A ‘transfuge son of a transfuge' - transplanted from one class to another

Late in life Bourdieu summarized his work:

… as a kind of “philosophy for everyman”, as a way of coping with contemporary living (Grenfell, 2008, p2) What is Field theory? In sociology, people are often described as social agents.
This is in order to recognise people's agency - their capacity to be self-determining

How do social structures fit in relation to this?

Think about the public/private divide in education– why does it matter?
How might it structure people's lives in differing ways? Social Structures To consider why an understanding of Bourdieu’s theories might help us, as agents, to understand our social worlds and the opportunities and constraints of the structures within them Aim of the session Introduction to
Pierre Bourdieu Perpetuated by dominant groups to maintain their dominance
Often unconscious ‘mis-recognised’
Agent is complicit in their own subjugation Symbolic Violence Example: State loans students economic capital to undertake a degree programme which accords them cultural capital (a degree) which they then exchange for economic capital (paid work) and pay back the original economic capital (with interest). As their career progresses they may accumulate more economic capital (pay rises), social capital (positioning within a group) and symbolic capital (prestige, status). Resources

Agents position themselves within fields to accumulate capital that can be exchanged for capitals pertaining to other fields.
However, agents who possess more capitals initially, can maintain advantage and pass on privilege to their children Forms of capital A fish in water does not feel the pressures exerted upon it, habitus is durable and transposable.

When our habitus coincides with the activities appropriate to the field we are active in, it is generally concealed. When the fit is incomplete we become self-conscious and question our actions and assumptions. Habitus/field match CLASS
ROOM Habitus/field mismatch Field: where things happen (structure/objective)

Habitus: who, how and why (agency/subjective)

Capital: resource with exchange value

Symbolic Violence: abuse of power A Bourdieusian perspective Subject
Discipline Higher Education (sub-field) Economic Field, the field of power (the state) Fields of influence: HE Post-1992 Institutions Force field Useful analogies (Maton, 2008) Defence field Football field Fields: contested social spaces The QUAL-MM-QUAN Continuum (Teddlie and Tashakkori, 2009, p28) MIXED QUANTITATIVE QUALITATIVE D E C B A Bourdieu employed a 'Mixed Methods Methodology' Social Capital "the aggregate of the actual or potential resources which are linked to possession of a durable network of more or less institutionalized relationships of mutual acquaintance and recognition." (Bourdieu 1986, 249) Bourdieu, P. (1986) The forms of capital. In J. Richardson (Ed.) Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education (New York, Greenwood), 241-258. In other words, "It ain't what you know, it's who you know." Bourdieu was a cultural theorist concerned with the paradox of social class Influenced by Marxism, a key consideration here becomes the central role of schooling in changing and reproducing inequalities Revisited A field is an arena in which social agents' dispositions are called into play through their habitus.
Field and habitus are mutually dependent In essence, it is the 'common sense' habits, behaviours and qualities through which we realise our membership of a group Taste classifies and it classifies the classifier. Social subjects, classified by their classifications, distinguish themselves by the distinctions they make, between the beautiful and the ugly, the distinguished and the vulgar, in which their position in the objective classification is expressed or betrayed. (Bourdieu 1984, 6) Cultural capital How Can affect education Q: How might cultural capital in an objectified state affect a child's experience of schooling? It is a 'soft' exertion of power and not always conscious.
Symbolic violence is the tendency to reproduce hierarchies in the fields of capital. Let's watch Wayne and Waynetta Slob again. Can this comedy sketch be considered to be 'symbolic violence'?
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