Bourdieu: Perceptions of 'Family', 'Education' and 'Self'.

Mcguire, Kim orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2713-8846 (2022) Bourdieu: Perceptions of 'Family', 'Education' and 'Self'. Bourdieu in Educational Research, March .

[thumbnail of Article in a journal]
PDF (Article in a journal) - Published Version

Official URL:


In this piece of scholarship Bourdieu analysed ‘family’ as a social construct, but also the ‘…representations that people form of what they refer to as the family’ (1996, p. 19). Accepting that interpretation is subjective, for the purpose of our research I was interested in how participants’ perceived education, but also ‘family’ and ‘family values’, and the potential effect on educational engagement. In the research I conducted with Suzanne Wilson, we observed the use of family discourse, ‘the language that the family uses about the family…endowed with a will, capable of thought, feeling and action’ (Bourdieu 1996, p. 20).

In a world where cultural capital in relation to education may be perceived as lacking for many working-class families (Ballantine, Hammack, & Stuber, 2017) and affecting their ability to support their children’s education (Lee & Bowen, 2006) we saw the increased importance placed on ‘family’ values as a constructed source of alternative symbolic power relations.

Repository Staff Only: item control page