Bourdieus Social Reproductive Theory

Provide a 8 pages analysis while answering the following question: Bourdieus Social Reproductive Theory and Working Class in Education. Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide. An abstract is required. Certainly, the working-class scarcity of representation within academia is part of the reason for so little information about this subject. So few working or poverty class students reach this level, it would seem a prime population to study given the notion of a fair and meritocratic system. A lack of understanding exists, however, in examining the lives of working-class students as they attempt to bridge the gap between their material and cultural background and the world of academe, in which the middle class dominates both physically and culturally.Often referred to as social reproduction theory, Bourdieu and those utilizing the Bourdieusian frame offer a valuable theoretical base for understanding the lives of the working class and poverty class. Bourdieu’s economic metaphors enable us to see how culture is relational to the economy. He developed a political economy that includes cultural practices in an understanding of power. Bourdieu outlines four types of capital: economic, cultural, social, and symbolic. As with all capital, the more you possess, the easier it is to generate more. As Swartz (1996, p. 78) explains, “these [capitals] are not tidy, well-delimited theoretical arguments but orienting themes that overlap and interpenetrate.” The base for these capitals is explicitly understood to be material within a Bourdieusian paradigm. One is born into a familial environment that places the individual somewhere on a proverbial starting line in a highly competitive race for resources. However, given that not all persons begin at the same starting line, the competition is rigged from the onset. Family income, wealth, and anticipated inheritance or capital gains form the basis for how a person enters the endurance race for resources. Some with family resources start on the fifty-yard line, while others who are not on the private dole will amass around the crowded starting line.Bourdieu uses the heuristic devices of field, habitus, and capitals in order to explore how classes become both materially and culturally dominated. While both neoliberalism and meritocracy adhere to the myth of individualization and equal chances, Bourdieu explicitly challenges these notions and insists that humans are products of our material history, in that we begin as agents with the accumulations of capitals from our lineage.

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