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'All the kids hate school': cultural capital as a determinant of literacy success : two case studies
2008 (English)In: Meeting of comparative minds: education in all its forms : proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Comparative and International Education Society, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, 24-27 November 2008, Armidale NSW: Australian and New Zealand Comparative and International Education Society , 2008Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper analyses ethnographic data from a study of two immigrant families and argues that literacy acquisition may be influenced by what Bourdieu calls 'the domestic transmission of cultural capital'. The home literacy practices of two immigrant families, a Lebanese-Muslim and a Chinese family, form the focus of this study. Mothers of the two families were interviewed regarding their perspectives on mainstream education, their role in their children's learning and their understandings of literacy. Results indicate that both mothers possessed the cultural capital necessary to access the literacies of their own communities. However, their ability to aid their children in a successful acquisition of mainstream literacies depended on their personal acquisition and transmission of the linguistic structures and learning patterns which are the purview of the dominant culture. Data reveal the mothers felt marginalised by school structures of power which restricted their access to the information required to form effective parent-school partnerships in the education of their children. Rather than tapping into the cultural and linguistic competencies of the immigrant families schools, through their adoption of the socialisation practices of the dominant class, were perceived to disadvantage those children whose cognitive structures and behavioural traits left them ill-equipped to succeed in mainstream school literacies. The findings suggest a need for schools to develop pedagogical practices which are responsive to the habituses of non- dominant classes. The paper also addresses the viability of Bourdieu's call for a 'universal pedagogy' whereby the transmission of the 'instruments of appropriation' ensures academic success in dominant literacies. [Author abstract]

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Armidale NSW: Australian and New Zealand Comparative and International Education Society , 2008.
Keyword [en]
Muslims; Cognitive structures; Cultural capital
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-12806ISBN: 9780909347123OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-12806DiVA: diva2:452941
Conference
Australian and New Zealand Comparative and International Education Society Conference ; 36th, 2008
Available from: 2011-10-31 Created: 2011-10-31Bibliographically approved

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Hellstén, Meeri
Pedagogy

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