Why is it that we still live in a society where an individual's social background plays such a big part in their chances of reaching a higher education? Despite the numerous educational policy reforms, especially in Sweden, it still seems that an individual's career choices are pretty much related to what kind of social class they grew up in.
Sociologist Pierre Bourdieu claimed that social class is reproduced in the school system, and that students from the lower classes are much less likely to reach a further education than students from the middle or upper classes due to injustice in the school system.
One thing that plays a big part in this "Catch-22" situation is the concept that Bourdieu calls habitus. Habitus could be explained as an individual's taste, knowledge, ability to master the spoken language, etc. Your habitus is manifested in the choices you make, the music you listen to, how you dress and the way you speak, and it determines your relation to the education system and life in general.
As part of my essay, I wanted to interview students from lower or working class at my school, Konstfack, to see if they have had any negative or positive experiences from their encounter with a higher education. And if so, could they be linked directly to their social background?
As a reaction to my own and my interviewees’ experiences and frustration, I use the concept of habitus in my practical work. Playing with class stereotypes, I load my wearable objects with different kinds of constructed "working class habitus". In placing these objects on a stereotypical image of the upper classes - those who are the most privileged in society and the school system - an interesting juxtaposition occurs between the wearer and the object.
What happens when you are forced to experience a habitus that is not yours?
2013. , 22 p.