Understanding the 'production' of the schooling identities of young working class boys: time to move beyond the sociological/psychological divide?

Paul Connolly

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Abstract

In recent times the sociology of childhood has played an important role in challenging the dominance of Piagetian models of child development in shaping the way we think about children and childhood. What such work has successfully achieved is to increase our understanding of the socially constructed nature of childhood; the social competence and agency of children; and the diverse nature of children’s lives, reflecting the very different social contexts within which they are located. One of the problems that has tended to be associated with this work, however, is that in its critique of developmentalism it has tended simply to replace one orthodoxy (psychology) with another (sociology) rather than providing the opportunity to transcend this divide. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate some of the potential ways in which the sociological/psychological divide might be transcended and the benefits of this for understanding, more fully, the ‘production’ of children’s schooling identities. In particular it shows how some of the key sociological insights to be found in the work of Bourdieu may be usefully extended by the work inspired by the developmental psychologist, Vygotsky. The key arguments are illustrated by reference to ethnographic data relating to the schooling experiences and identities of a group of 5-6 year old working class boys.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2005
EventBritish Educational Research Association Annual Conference - University of Glamorgan, Glamorgan, United Kingdom
Duration: 14 Sep 200517 Sep 2005

Conference

ConferenceBritish Educational Research Association Annual Conference
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityGlamorgan
Period14/09/200517/09/2005

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