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Cultural Capital through Novels in English: Is There One Sovereign Teaching Method when Teaching Novels in English?
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis researches how six of the English teachers in the public upper-secondary schools in Växjö teach novels in English and how their methods influence the gaining of cultural capital for the students. The cultural capital theory is based on Pierre Bourdieu and what he states about cultural capital being one of the factors that may allow a person to shift social status without having any economic capital. Another matter that Bourdieu addresses is that school is one of the institutions where cultural capital may be gained (Bourdieu “Practical Reason” 19). Because school is the one common ground students have, it is the one place where they all have the same chance of developing, regardless of social status. The connection between gaining cultural capital and novels in English is explained with the theory of John Guillory and what he states about English novels being a part of cultural capital. The novels that the school possesses and uses form a school canon that does not only reflect the school’s values but its culture as well (Guillory 38). When the students read these novels they therefore gain the cultural capital that the school reflects. How well this cultural capital is gained depends on the teachers and their methods. The study has been conducted by interviewing two English teachers from each of the three schools about their methods and choice of novel. The analysis has uncovered that all the teachers have similar methods and the variations that exists depends on the students they have. Consequently the amount of knowledge and cultural capital gained by the students depends on what kind of students the teacher has and which method he/she therefore chooses to use.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 115 p.
Keyword [en]
Cultural Capital, Teaching Methods, Literature, Reading, Learning Theories
National Category
General Literature Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-33634OAI: diva2:710261
Subject / course
Educational program
Lärarprogrammet, inriktning mot verksamhet i grundskolans senare år och gymnasiet
Available from: 2014-04-28 Created: 2014-04-06 Last updated: 2014-04-28Bibliographically approved

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