Using Bourdieu’s concept of doxa to illuminate classed practices in an English fee-paying school
British Journal of Sociology of Education, 33, (4), . (doi:10.1080/01425692.2012.662823).
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Especially in research on the ‘classed practice’ of educational decision-making, it is striking how the Bourdieuian concepts of habitus and capital have dominated. With a tendency to focus on the middle-classes’ ability to accumulate and deploy cultural capital, less attention has been given to the role of the institution and its place in the field. We are given a flavour of how classed practices are played out within the state sector, but as far as the fee-paying sector is concerned, we know very little. This paper draws from interviews and field notes taken from time spent within the sixth-form of an independent school. I argue that the school and parents are engaged in the production, display and consumption of cultural capital. Moreover, through Bourdieu’s notion of ‘doxa’ we gain an understanding of how the school and parents are engaged in a very particular classed practice.
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