Cultural Deficit vs. Cultural Discontinuity by xny14254


									      Cultural Deficit vs. Cultural
• Cultural Deprivation measures culturally distinct
  methods of communicating against “standard
  English” thus incorporating a value system that
  ranks anything other than standard English as
  “deficient” or “inappropriate”
• Cultural Discontinuity argues that we cannot
  assign value judgments nor measure different
  modes of communication against an Anglo,
  middle class norm. Rather, we should look at
  different modes of communication as culturally
           Cultural Discontinuity
• Race and Ethnicity:
   – culturally based differences in the communication styles between
     many students of color and the Anglo culture of the school lead
     to conflicts, misunderstandings, and, ultimately, failure for those
• Class:
   – culturally based differences in the communication styles between
     lower class students‟ home and the middle to upper class culture
     of the school lead to conflicts, misunderstandings, and,
     ultimately, failure for those students
• Recommendation:
   – The research focuses on the process, rather than the structure of
     education and concludes that making the classroom more
     culturally appropriate will mean a higher rate of achievement
Class and Cultural Discontinuity
•       Pierre Bourdieu: the most well-known conflict
        constructivist within the sociology of education,
        characterizes education as an institution that
        reproduces the social order
    –     emphasis on the cultural, interactive, and conflictual
          nature of education

•       Bourdieu‟s concepts of forms of capital and habitus
        describe his general theory of reproduction which is
        acclaimed for its emphasis on culture and critique of
        cultural deficit models, and support for more culturally
        relevant pedagogy
    Bourdieu‟s Concept of Habitus
•       Habitus: consists of a set of historical
        relations „deposited‟ within individual bodies in
        the form of mental and physical schemata of
        perception, appreciation, and action.
    –     Schema: frameworks we use to understand
          interactions and events.
•       Habitus is our beliefs, values, cultural
        understandings, and ways of behaving
    –     everything in our histories that we physically
          and mentally embody
Habitus and Social Reproduction
  •   Habitus is a self-perpetuating mechanism
      that reproduces social relationships
      –   As long as an individual is a product of the same
          habitus in which they continue to function, the individual
          will reproduce their habitus
      –   product of habitus + functioning within that habitus=
          reproduction of habitus
      –   Example: As long as I am product of the upper-middle
          class and continue to live and function within the upper-
          middle class, I will reproduce my habitus- enact it and
          hand it down to my children
         Three Forms of Capital
–       Economic capital- that which can be “directly
        convertible into money” as well as institutionalized
        in the form of property
–       Social capital: resources derived from networks of
        people and groups. Social capital is essentially
        social networking as an “investment strategy”
–       Cultural Capital: forms of knowledge; skill;
        education; any advantages a person has which give
        them a higher status in society, including high
    •     Exists in three forms: embodied state, objectified state,
          institutionalized state
    Cultural Capital: Embodied State
•   The internalization of certain “dispositions of
    the mind and body”- what an individual knows
    and utilizes from within
    – Includes normative behaviors such as language use,
      manner of dress, and the “proper” guidelines for
      conducting oneself
    ***The embodied state of cultural capital can be
        learned, and if learned, cultural capital can alter
        one‟s habitus
       •   the embodied state of cultural capital is a process not
           easily transmitted as with money.
 Cultural Capital: Objectified State
• The “objectified state” of cultural capital refers to
  cultural objects such as books.
• The objectified state of cultural capital may be
  consumed through money and/or embodied
  through the appreciation of a fine painting
   – Cultural objects can be consumed materially which
     presupposes economic capital
   – Cultural objects can be consumed symbolically which
     presupposes cultural capital
 Cultural Capital: Institutionalized State

• Institutionalized state of cultural capital:
  the objectification of cultural capital in the
  form of academic qualification
  – This presupposes academic success and is
    therefore dependent on the embodiment of
    cultural capital
•       The differential accumulation of capital through material gains and
        embodied features drives and reproduces social inequalities
•       Students from backgrounds rich in the three forms of capital have the
        preferred cultural capital that enables them to function in school
    –      These students have a particular knowledge that allows them to navigate
           through the school system by displaying desired behavior and/or conforming
           to unspoken norms
•       Covert function of cultural capital within the school system: students that
        possess the appropriate cultural capital will be recognized as “advanced”
        leaving those that do not possess the same cultural capital left to
        reproduce their habitus.
    –      Impacts the possibilities of being funneled into college prep vs. vocational
•       Masked through the ideology of meritocracy: individuals who do not
        have the desired cultural capital are labeled as lacking in intelligence and
        the drive to succeed
Bourdieu and Cultural Discontinuity
• Bourdieu pinpoints the conflict between cultures
  as they play out in power dynamics of the
• Though his work focuses on class, it can also be
  used as a springboard to talk about ethnicity
• The problem according to cultural discontinuity
  is not about cultures being deficient but rather
  – The role of power in these situations translates
    difference into forms of oppression and social

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