How the excellent working-class student becomes a cultural capital constructor: Reflections on the theories of cultural reproduction

Tien-Hui Chiang*, Allen Thurston, Hsin-Chi Lin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Although the theories of habitus evolution enrich the perspective of cultural reproduction, their agentic approach doesn’t explain how excellent working-class students exercise agency to create cultural capital for themselves. In order to examine this issue, this study employed nonparticipant observation and interview methods to collect data about an excellent working-class student. The findings showed that the subject actively adopted creative strategies for discovering and using academic resources available outside her family’s social space. This agency was initiated by the subject’s envisagement of education as a path of liberation from the expected fate of the working classes. Its practice was further supported by significant others, who provided the subject with crucial help, including inspiration, encouragement, instruction and educational resources.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101625
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Research
Volume103
Early online date08 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • cultural reproduction, social space, habitus evolution, agency, cultural capital construction

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