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SOCI3630- Nov 6.doc

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SOCI 3630
Alireza Asgharzadeh

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th 3630: Sociology of Education November 6 , 2013 Education, Cultural Capital, and Issues of Power: Pierre Bourdieu Pierre Bourdieu, 1930-2002 o “Sociology is the study of power…” He tries to synthesize traditional opposites such as: o Theory and practice o Practice: everyday activity aimed at securing resources (Ex. We are in school as a practice for some kind of logical end = career) o Individuals make decisions partially compelled by roles, yet also motivated by creative strategizing and improvisation o (The field and the habitus) o Agency and structure o Agency is the capacity to influence what happens in one’s life o Do individuals have the capacity to resist the limitations and restrictions of our environment? o Agency vs. Structure (Determinism vs. Free Will) o Determinism refers to the degree to which a person’s behavior, attitudes and other personal characteristics are determined or caused by a specific factor o Are we free to be who we want to be or are there forces that determine who we are? Identifying Persistent Inequalities: o Exploring how one generation of class ensures that it reproduces itself and passes on its privileges to the next generation. (Social Reproduction Theory) o Education is identified as the main source of modern success o The centrality of Cultural Capital in educational success o Economic Capital: command over economic resources and financial wealth o Social Capital: resources based on group membership; relationships; networks of influence and support through family members, peers, community members, and educational agents… o Bourdieu’s focus: how social capital is differentially developed and distributed among various social classes to produce social inequality? o Cultural Capital: forms of knowledge; skills; education, attitudes, self-presentation This takes place in 3 forms: 1. The embodied state: linguistic knowledge (including foreign languages), mode of speech, knowledge of art th 3630: Sociology of Education November 6 , 2013 2. The objectified state: physical possessions that signal possession of cultural capital (books, paintings, computer, etc.) 3. The institutionalized state: when knowledge becomes indorsed by an institution such as York University (academic credentials, diplomas, degrees, awards) (Ex. Doctors office has their credentials and diplomas displayed to ensure they know what they are doing.) o Symbolic Capital: that which is material but is not recognized as such; culturally valued attributes, accumulated preside; honor, accent, the ability to identify and categorize others, the ability to impose definitions, assign meanings. (Cannot articulate in a different language what you would like to say thus you are nervous… It is still the same person, who has the same knowledge however can’t present themselves.) o For symbolic power is that invisible power which can be exercise only with the complicity of those who do not want to know that they are subject to it or even that they themselves exercise it. (Bourdieu- 1991. Language & Symbolic Power, p. 163) o Symbolic Violence: takes place through the imposition of cultural product (Ex. Language, religions, identity) This can be manifested in the exercise of domination through communication o -- A form of violence (sometimes) exercised with the complicity of the victim. o -- This form of domination usually is not recognized as oppressive; it is recognized as legitimate to normal. o Misrecognition; false consciousness in Marx Reflexive Sociology: o A sociology in which sociologists conduct their research with conscious attention to the effects of their own position, and in particular their own set of internalized structures. o A call for sociologists to transcend the limits of their own field and analyze the field of sociology Implications for Education o Combining theory, practice, and research o Bourdieu: “Research without theory is blind, and theory without research is empty.” o Attention to language and the classroom o Examples of doing educational research using cultural capital focusing on material resources (of parents), educational qualifications, time spent with children, information about the educational system, social confidence, self-esteem; th 3630: Sociology of Education November 6 , 2013 assertiveness, feelings of e
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