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01-06-2015 | Forum | Issue 2/2015

Cultural Studies of Science Education 2/2015

Extending methods: using Bourdieu’s field analysis to further investigate taste

Journal:
Cultural Studies of Science Education > Issue 2/2015
Author:
Alexandra Schindel Dimick
Important notes
Lead Editor: M. Weinstein.
This review essay addresses issues raised in Per Anderhag, Per-Olof Wickman and Karim Hamza’s paper entitled: Signs of taste for science: a methodology for studying the constitution of interest in the science classroom. DOI:10.​1007/​s11422-014-9641-9.

Abstract

In this commentary on Per Anderhag, Per-Olof Wickman and Karim Hamza’s article Signs of taste for science, I consider how their study is situated within the concern for the role of science education in the social and cultural production of inequality. Their article provides a finely detailed methodology for analyzing the constitution of taste within science education classrooms. Nevertheless, because the authors’ socially situated methodology draws upon Bourdieu’s theories, it seems equally important to extend these methods to consider how and why students make particular distinctions within a relational context—a key aspect of Bourdieu’s theory of cultural production. By situating the constitution of taste within Bourdieu’s field analysis, researchers can explore the ways in which students’ tastes and social positionings are established and transformed through time, space, place, and their ability to navigate the field. I describe the process of field analysis in relation to the authors’ paper and suggest that combining the authors’ methods with a field analysis can provide a strong methodological and analytical framework in which theory and methods combine to create a detailed understanding of students’ interest in relation to their context.

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