The Complicated Conversation of Class and Race in Social and Curricular Analysis: An examination of Pierre Bourdieu's interpretative framework in relation to race

Educational Philosophy and Theory 44 (s1):74-97 (2012)
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As a means to challenge and diminish the hold of mainstream curriculum's claim of being a colorblind, politically neutral text, we will address two particular features that partially, though significantly, constitute the hidden curriculum in the United States—race and class—historically studied as separate social issues. Race and class have been embedded within the institutional curriculum from the beginning in the US; though rarely acknowledged as intertwined issues. We illustrate how the theoretical and interpretive structure of French philosopher and sociologist Pierre Bourdieu can productively subsume the insights of critical race theory into its framework in a way that provides a more robust understanding of how race and class continue to be socially reproduced in schools. To perform this task we examine, through Bourdieu's constructs of habitus, field, capital, symbolic violence and misrecognition, the ways in which race, in general, and whiteness, specifically, influences pedagogical and curricular existence within the institutional superstructure of school



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