‘Cultural capital in the wrong currency’: the reflective accounts of scholarship students attending elite secondary schools

Feldmana, Jennifer ; Wallace, Jennifer (2021-07-21)

CITATION: Feldman & Jennifer Wallace (2021): ‘Cultural capital in the wrong currency’: the reflective accounts of scholarship students attending elite secondary schools, International Studies in Sociology of Education, doi: 10.1080/09620214.2021.1956996

The original publication is available at: tandfonline.com

Article

This article investigates the awarding of scholarships to students from historically disadvantaged communities to attend elite schools in South Africa. Specifically, the article analyses the narrated accounts of a sample of former scholarship recipients who reflect back on their experiences of entering an elite secondary school as scholarship students. Using Bourdieu’s notion of cultural capital and symbolic violence to explain the interviewees’ experiences in the elite school space, the article shows that in the educational setting of post-apartheid South Africa, success in one part of an educational field does not necessarily equate to success in another. Further, providing students with the financial means to access elite education does not mean that they enter into the school contexts as ‘equal players’. As such, what the article highlights, is that the acceptance of a scholarship for students from historically disadvantaged communities, is far more complex and multi-layered than is anticipated by all stakeholders.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/125791
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