Children's Bodies in Schools
Corporeal Performances of Social Class
|Publication Date||June 2014|
|Formats||Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF)|
|Series||The Cultural and Social Foundations of Education|
How do teachers "read" children's body language, and what are the consequences of these (mis)interpretations? Using Pierre Bourdieu's work in the construction of social class, together with Annette Lareau's work on how social class influences the child-rearing practices of parents, Henry argues that children raised in working-class homes come to elementary school with different, largely underappreciated, corporeal capacities. The middle-class corporeal practices of elementary school (hands to yourself, raise your hand to speak, stay in straight lines) require working-class children to adopt middle-class corporeal performances in order to demonstrate that they have achieved self-control, a significant mechanism by which some bodies are validated in society and vilified in others. Henry argues that curricula aimed at helping teachers teach poor children predisposes them to see poor children's corporeal performance from deeply classed positions that maintain cycles of social reproduction in schools rather than interrupting them.