by Jewel Caruso
Associate professor, Amy Stich, and McBee Institute graduate Andrew Crain joined forces to publish new research on social class and students’ college-going and future aspirations. The article, “Structuring middle-class aspirations: the role of place-based habitus and higher education,” appears in the British Journal of Sociology of Education.
Their qualitative case study seeks to provide “an analysis of the structuring of students’ middle-class aspirations” using a Bourdieusian framework. Findings show that while student participants are similarly positioned relative to social class background, “those from distinct geographic areas (i.e., rural and urban) displayed key differences in expressions of college-going and future aspirations.”
Stich and Crain argue that place is a significant factor in structuring students’ college-going and future aspirations as it is an important feature of one’s class habitus. “Students are shaped by the habitus of their locale, which contributes to their college and career aspirations.” The authors argue that while there is an increasing amount of research covering the “role of race and class in reproducing inequality, place remains largely absent despite its deep connection to these social identities.”