Drawing on sociological theory and research critically explore how young people’s educational experiences are shaped by the possession of various forms of capital. Having explored this, now reflect on your own educational experiences and briefly explore how your own classed, gendered and cultural positioning has been articulated in your choices.
Education is quite possibly the only escape route out of social disadvantage, as the spiralling economy in which we dwell continues to mistreat the adolescent. Pierre Bourdieu once described capital as ‘accumulated labor (in its materialized form or its ‘incorporated,’ embodied form)’. (Bourdieu,P, 1986) As we go from infancy into adolescence, and onto adulthood, our educational experiences are what shape our character. The various forms of capital affect us greatly throughout this transition. In today’s Ireland, the educational experience of a student is one of severe obscurity and diversity, as a result of the social constructs embedded in educational institutions. These forms of capital are- social, economic, emotional and cultural. I will begin by discussing the effects of social capital on education, and also two of the remaining forms, economical and emotional, whilst also reflecting on my own educational experiences.
Bourdieu once described social capital as ‘the aggregate of the actual or potential resources’ linked to mutual acquaintance or recognition, or in other words, membership in a group. (Bourdieu, P, 1986) The choices we make or that are made for us in life, are a lot to do with the social network to which we are a part of. For example, if we look at the circle of the travelling community, Irish travellers have a long shared history of customs and traditions, which sets them apart from every other social group. Their social activity, traditions and rituals etc, outlaws the traditions of the greater majority in Ireland. Social mobility between different networks is not common, and this is...