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Working-class boys, educational success and the misrecognition of working-class culture

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2009
<mark>Journal</mark>British Journal of Sociology of Education
Issue number4
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)421-434
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date16/06/09
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This article contributes to the theory of institutional habitus by exploring the differing ways in which the institutional habitus of two schools in Belfast, Northern Ireland mediates the local habitus of working‐class boys. All of the boys in this qualitative case study live in the same disadvantaged working‐class community but attend two different schools, depending on whether they succeeded or failed in an examination at the age of 11 years. It is argued that these schools have different mediating effects on the boys’ common habitus. While most studies of working‐class boys focus on underachievement, and most studies of working‐class success focus on females, this article draws together the strands of success, failure, working‐class boys and locality, and examines the ways in which identity is constructed and reconstructed in response to schooling. Questions are raised about the interpretation and/or misrecognition of working‐class culture in schools and within the wider discourses of society.