Habitus and cultural capital

Abstract

The aim of this research was, ‘To explore if Pierre Bourdieu’s concepts of ‘Habitus’ and ‘Cultural Capital’ differently impact Huddersfield University students participating in the ‘Final Year Project Module for the Social Sciences (FYP)’. The rationale behind this study was due to observations made before and after FYP lectures, in which there were clearly different feelings in terms of confidence approaching the module. Therefore, an understanding of students’ experiences of various aspects of it were warranted. The theoretical framework that was utilised in order to understand the participants’ experiences is that of Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus and cultural capital. A qualitative methodology was used, which incorporated an opportunistic sampling method. Six semi-structured interviews with three males and females (differing in self-declared social class and ethnicity) were conducted, and thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. It was found that Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus and cultural capital did differently impact students on the module. However, the impact of habitus and cultural capital were primarily determined by social class albeit mitigated by either ethnic capital, student-supervisor relationships or new skills the module introduced. This was reflective of the critical realist perspective of structure and agency.

Keywords

Students, Agency, Structure, Experience, University, Ethnic capital, Pierre Bourdieu, Social class, FYP, Cultural capital, Habitus

How to Cite

Schofield J., (2021) “Habitus and cultural capital”, Fields: journal of Huddersfield student research 7(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.5920/fields.814

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Jay Schofield (University of Huddersfield)

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

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This article has been peer reviewed.

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