Sociology- Pupils' class identities and the school

  • Created by: Daisymac
  • Created on: 18-01-19 18:23
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  • Pupil's class identities and the school
    • Habitus
      • Refers to the dispositions or learnt, taken for granted ways of thinking, being or acting that are shared by a particular social class.
      • Schools put a higher value on middle class tastes.
      • Linked to Bourdieus concept of cultural capital  because the school has a middle class habitus and so gives mc pupils an advantage.
    • Symbolic capital and violence
      • As schools have a middle class habitus, pupils have been socialised at home into a middle class tastes and preference and so gain symbolic capital.
        • By defining wc tastes as inferior, symbolic violence reproduces the class structure and keeps lower classes into their place
      • Results in a clash between wc pupils habitus and schools mc habitus and so wc students may feel alienated in school.
    • Nike identities
      • Symbolic violence means wc students seek status and value by constructing meaningful class identities
      • Wearing brands were a way of 'being me' The identities were also strongly gendered
      • The right appearance earned symbolic capital and approval from peers and brought safety from bullying
      • According to Archer et al, wc pupils investment in Nike identities is not only a cause of their educational marginalisation by the school- It also expresses their positive preference for a particular lifestyle .
    • Working class identity and educational success
      • Ingram 2009- study of 2 groups of catholic wc boys from the same highy deprived area as archer in belfast. One group had passed the 11+ exam went to grammar school, while the other went to a local secondary school.
        • Found that the wc identity was inseperable from belonging to a working class locality and the neighbourhoods dense networks of family and friends were part of a boys habitus.
    • Class identity and self-exclusion
      • Evans 2009 studied 21 wc girls from a south London comprehensive found that they were reluctant to apply to oxbridge as they felt they wouldn't fit in
      • Bourdieu 1984 argues many working class people think of oxbridge as being not for the likes of us and this feeling comes from their habitus, which includes beliefs about what opportunities really exist for them.
      • Reay et al 2005 points out that self exclusion from elite universities narrows the options for many wc pupils and limits their success.


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