Elite school capitals and girls' schooling: understanding the (re)production of privilege through a habitus of 'assuredness'

Forbes, Joan and Lingard, Bob (2013). Elite school capitals and girls' schooling: understanding the (re)production of privilege through a habitus of 'assuredness'. In Claire Maxwell and Peter Aggleton (Ed.), Privilege, Agency and Affect: Understanding the Production and Effects of Action (pp. 50-68) New York, NY, USA: Palgrave Macmillan. doi:10.1057/9781137292636

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Author Forbes, Joan
Lingard, Bob
Title of chapter Elite school capitals and girls' schooling: understanding the (re)production of privilege through a habitus of 'assuredness'
Title of book Privilege, Agency and Affect: Understanding the Production and Effects of Action
Place of Publication New York, NY, USA
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Publication Year 2013
Sub-type Research book chapter (original research)
DOI 10.1057/9781137292636
Series Education 2014
ISBN 9781137292629
9781137292636
9781137292643
Editor Claire Maxwell
Peter Aggleton
Chapter number 3
Start page 50
End page 68
Total pages 19
Total chapters 14
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
This chapter examines the (re)production of privilege at Marischal (a pseudonym), an elite school for the education of girls in Scotland. Of specific interest are the socio-material effects of relations in this school that enable particular possibilities for the individual agency of its girls. We uncover and explore the specific socio-material conditions of possibility that flow from schooling circumstances which create a particular set of physical–corporeal, social and intellectual school socio-spatial relations that are for most girls at Marischal underpinned by prior home conditions of economic and social surety (Forbes & Weiner, 2012, 2013b).

Here we question the (re)production of privilege in the orderings of school space (Soja, 1989; Lefebvre, 1991; Massey, 1994). Embracing the research of Maxwell and Aggleton (2013) into economic surety and agency and building on our previous Scottish Independent Schools Project (SISP) research studies (Forbes & Weiner, 2008, 2012, 2013a, 2013b; Horne et al., 2011; Lingard et al., 2012; Lingard, Mills & Weaver-Hightower, 2012), we operationalise schooling privilege as identifications with economic, physical, social, intellectual and socio-cultural surety in a specific school space. Such identifications, we argue, are designed to (re)produce physical–corporeal, social and intellectual surety, accomplishment and agency for students (Gordon, Holland & Lahelma, 2000; Forbes & Weiner, 2012). Thus, we characterise schooling privilege as attachment to positive conditions of possibility – a habitus of possibility underpinned by economic surety and dispositions towards assured social connectedness and inherent optimism. For the girls at Marischal, academic performance was central to this agency and particular habitus, but so too was the culture of the school, its ‘institutional habitus’ (Reay, 1998; Reay, David & Ball, 2001), which constituted them as active agents and protagonists in their schooling and their life after school.
Q-Index Code B1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Book Chapter
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
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Created: Wed, 04 Dec 2013, 00:43:28 EST by Claire Backhouse on behalf of School of Education