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Re: [xmca] Gratier, Greenfield, & Isaac

Michael, I believe there are ways that mirror the “natural way” to teach
cultural capital overtly. I’ve seen 3- and 4-year-olds from families of
refugee status quickly appropriated the value placed on print, showing
interest in print, wanting to write their names, feeling proud of their own
attempts, not long after establishing a relationship with the preschool
teacher in various activities in a family literacy program, which embeds
print in almost all its classroom activities. For example, the teacher read
to the children while they were eating, pointed out print and signs in the
environment for them as they went out for recess, and wrote notes in front
of them to request materials needed for the classroom. The transformation of
the children’s attention, interest, and desire is amazing given that the
children hardly understood English when they entered the program and their
parents seldom read to them or pointed out print around due to low reading
and writing ability in English and in their first language. I've since been
convinced of the importance of setting up a learning environment that has an
emphasis on relationship building.

Jay, until you revealed it, I didn't see it. I reread the section leading to
the hypotheses section and found that there is some reference to praise, but
not at all to criticism.

It appears that the same two classrooms (BC and non-BC) have been studied
from different angles and the findings seem to be consistent with Gratier et
al.'s framework. This article certainly extends their work. Terms such as
style and collectivism do connote essentialization; the authors’ data
provide substantiation of the essentialzed norms and communication styles
(although what one sets out to do confines what one looks for) but I think
they could have gone a step further. The example of a father’s feeling
uncomfortable when the teacher praised his child does not tell how he may
act or say to people in his in-group. There is also the assumption that home
socialization remains the same after immigration. Given the contrastive
framework in Gratier et al., I see little reasons not to include the
videotaping of the same groups of children (some of them, more likely)
interacting with their parents at home. Or is another paper forthcoming?


On Thu, Dec 3, 2009 at 4:46 AM, Michael Glassman <MGlassman@ehe.osu.edu>wrote:

> Jay
> ,
> It seems to me a playing out - at least to some extent of Bourdieu's larger
> theory.  That increasing the cultural capital of the teacher in relation to
> the class would increase the level of social capital, which would lead to
> some of the findings they present.  A lack of cultural capital (usually
> assumed on the part of the students) would certainly lead to more
> difficulties in communication and the students feeling more uncomfortable in
> class.
> But this leads to a fairly radical assumption on the part of the authors
> concerning habitus, even in terms of Bourdieu's theory.  That is that
> cultural capital can be taught overtly, as cultural capital - Bourdieu seems
> to emphasize that we learn cultural capital more or less unconsciously,
> through everyday experience in the right situations (whether it is with
> parents or in a school system where the type of cultural capital that leads
> to easy social capital is pervasive).  I'm not so sure this is possible.
> I have another difficult which is that I read habitus as defining class
> distinctions rather than cultural distinctions, and that I'm not sure his
> ideas translate between the two, or make that much sense if they do.  The
> types of cultures like Latino/Latina cultures are going to have class
> distinctions defined by different habitas, defined most easily by different
> levels of economic capital, and different recogntions of symbolic capital
> (and symbolic violence),  To say a population so large has a single type of
> habitus I think is problematic - especially when using a terms such as
> collectivist, which is both categorical and far too broad I think to be
> really salient in describing classes, let alone entire cultures (I think
> level and type of social capital might be more appropriate if you are going
> to use Bourdeiu's theory as a starting point).
> Michael
> ________________________________
> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu on behalf of Jay Lemke
> Sent: Thu 12/3/2009 12:16 AM
> To: XMCA Forum
> Subject: [xmca] Gratier, Greenfield, & Isaac
> I don't know how many people have yet had a chance to look at the MCA
> article-of-the-month (Gratier, Greenfield, & Isaac on communicative
> habitus and attunement in classrooms).
> I must have missed something, so could someone explain to me how they
> derive the hypothesis that the more culturally attuned classroom will
> have more criticism (by the teacher? or by everyone?) and less praise,
> than the mismatched classroom?
> And what do you think generally about the methodology in this work?
> JAY.
> Jay Lemke
> Professor (Adjunct, 2009-2010)
> Educational Studies
> University of Michigan
> Ann Arbor, MI 48109
> www.umich.edu/~jaylemke <http://www.umich.edu/%7Ejaylemke>
> Visiting Scholar
> Laboratory for Comparative Human Communication
> University of California -- San Diego
> La Jolla, CA
> USA 92093
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