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ERIC Number: EJ1119662
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Nov
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1477-9714
Widening the Participation into Higher Education: Examining Bourdieusian Theory in Relation to HE in the UK
Burnell, Iona
Journal of Adult and Continuing Education, v21 n2 p93-109 Nov 2015
Bourdieu's theories enable us to conceptualise and understand why some people participate in higher education and some do not. Focussing on the working class as the marginalised social group in HE, Bourdieu demonstrated how education perpetuates inequality and lack of opportunity. The theories, or "thinking tools" as he called them, provide an explanation for why the working class do not participate in HE on the same scale as the middle and upper classes. Habitus, for example, enables us to understand that we have "a sense of one's place which leads one to exclude oneself from places from which one is excluded" (Bourdieu, 1984: 471). I examine the theories in the context of my own research and explore my participants' experiences of HE using Bourdieu's theoretical framework. However, my research findings do not support an uncritical application of Bourdieu's theories; rather that one's habitus can change to accommodate new practices, and once that change has occurred, it is socially reproduced. The findings of the research are based on interviews with ten participants, all of whom are or have been mature working class students in higher education.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A