Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Literature Review #3: The Inheritors

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Bourdieu, Pierre, and Jean-Claude Passeron. The Inheritors: French Students and Their Relation to Culture . Chicago : The U of Chicago Press, 1979. Web. 6 Mar. 2017.

This work is centered around the analysis of cultural privilege and how those in different socioeconomic classes directly and indirectly benefit from the financial, cultural, and social capital. Economic advantage gives access to cultural benefits, which become heightened during higher education. 

Author, Pierre Bourdieu, was an influential sociologist, anthropologist, and philosopher from France. His main pursuit was to examine the dynamics of power relationships in a social context, including class stratification, aesthetic taste, and social positioning. He is well known for noting the importance of cultural capital for social mobility. Jean-Claude Passeron is also a French sociologist and philosopher. He led the sociology department at l'Universite de Nantes. 

A key term that this paper focuses on is freedom, which relates directly to Ilguana's idea of freedom, as well. In this context, freedom is defined in more literal terms compared to Ken's definition. There are direct quotes of students' opinion of freedom for leisure, however all the quotes are from senior executive's sons. A second term this paper focuses on is social origin. Social origin is the starting socioeconomic status in which the student originates, which dictates student trajectory towards higher education. 

 “A senior executive’s son is eighty times more likely to enter a university than a farm worker’s son, and forty times more likely than an industrial worker’s son; and he is twice as likely to enter a university even a lower-rank executive’s son” (2). 

"Educational disadvantage is also expressed in the restricted choice of disciplines reasonable available to a given category of students" (6). 

"However factious and superficial, these freedoms are not the conscious liberties by which the fresher persuades himself he has become a student" (30). 

My plan for this work is to utilize the given statistics comparing students' participation in higher education in relation to their level of social origin. The premise of the data depicts how social origin and the complementing amenities that accompany students of a higher social class are more prone to enter higher education. Bourdieu explains that social origin is not merely the objective status, but also the experiences, relations, and cognition it gives the student. For example, students with a higher social origin are primed for higher education because their whole lives are centered around the destiny for success. 

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