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Assured optimism in a Scottish girls’ school: habitus and the (re)production of global privilege

Forbes J & Lingard B (2015) Assured optimism in a Scottish girls’ school: habitus and the (re)production of global privilege, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 36 (1), pp. 116-136.

This paper examines how high levels of social–cultural connectedness and academic excellence, inflected by gender and social class, constitute a particular school habitus of ‘assured optimism’ at an elite Scottish girls’ school. In Bourdieuian terms, Dalrymple is a ‘forcing ground’ for the ‘intense cultivation’ of a particular privileging habitus. The paper analyses the ‘institutional’ habitus of this particular private girls’ school, drawing on headteacher interviews and student survey and focus group data, and relevant documents. The school is currently re-positioning itself to educate girls for global professional futures through the production of a desired habitus and certain spatio-temporalities.

elite schooling; habitus; assured optimism; multiple capitals; spatio-temporalities; soft practices

AuthorsForbes Joan, Lingard Bob
Publication date2015
Publication date online11/12/2014
Date accepted by journal14/08/2014
PublisherTaylor and Francis
ISSN 0142-5692

British Journal of Sociology of Education: Volume 36, Issue 1

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