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Re: [xmca] Gratier, Greenfield, & Isaac

Hi Michael, in referring to the example of the preschoolers in the literacy
program, I had in mind that school (schools that I know or read about)
values and cultivates practices and knowledge of particular social groups
(e.g., homes that stock books and reading and being read are everyday
experiences versus homes that telling and listening to stories are common
occurrences). In this light, do you think that we may think of school as
doing the work of teaching cultural capital explicitly? You wrote that you
don't believe cultural capital could be overtly taught but you also wrote,
“We were being taught cultural capital)”. Could you clarify?

With the newspaper example, I’m thinking that if the teachers (in schools as
you were growing up) had, instead of merely bringing in NYT as a way to
promote, but taken time to share news items with students (e.g., “Hey, you
know what” or “Now that is interesting”) and engaged them in discussion
briefly or more extensively as current events and special coverage can be
integrated into school curricula, for example, would that have made a
difference? Not that I think that certain cultural capital is more important
than others. I actually look forward to the day when cultural capital of the
social groups in the community school serves, not just certain groups, is

On Sat, Dec 5, 2009 at 1:21 PM, Michael Glassman <MGlassman@ehe.osu.edu>wrote:

> Hi Yuan,
> I'm not sure the degree to which print is actually cultural capital.  If it
> is cultural capital I would wonder how say the middle class uses it as a
> symbol of belonging to the middle class, a way in which to promote the
> exclusiveness of a social group.  I would think that print is too
> uncontrollable, too broad, and too generalized to serve as an important form
> of cultural capital.  Now I would agree that certain types of print serve as
> a form of cultural capital.  When I was growing up in New York the type of
> newspaper you carried was very much a symbol of class inclusion.  If you
> carried the New York Times it was a symbol of belonging to the middle class,
> corporatist world, and it was assumed you have a certain intellectual cache.
>  If you were carrying the Daily News this signaled a much more blue collar,
> lunch bucket type of belonging and you could trust this person as a "regular
> guy."  If you carried the New York Post (this was pre-Murdoch when the Post
> was a great paper), you were middle class but did not want to be labeled as
> either corporatist or as overly intellectual.  You did well, maybe white
> collar, but you could also belong in a neighborhood bar watching a big
> ballgame.  It was amazing the degree to which the newspaper you carried
> signaled your membership in the group.
> What is interesting is that this was never really overtly stated.
>  Again,when I was growing up there were a number of teachers in middle or
> upper middle class schools which really promoted the New York Times.  You
> would walk around the hallways and see individuals carrying it, there were
> special deals.  But almost nobody I knew actually read the paper to any
> great degree.  Maybe if they had some extra time.  The idea though that it
> was a symbol though never crossed our mind.  We were being taught cultural
> capital).  A half a decade later I was teaching as a New York City high
> school that was anything but middle class.  No students carried around the
> New York Times.  As a matter of fact they didn't carry around any papers.
>  In the teachers room you could only find the Daily News or the New York
> Post.  Sometimes I would carry in the Times but after a while I stopped for
> some reason and switched to the Post (which I actually enjoyed more).
>  Again, I don't believe any of this could have been overtly taught.  I mean
> you might read in a 70s self help book how important it was that you carry
> the New York times because of the "aura" that might give you or something,
> but it wouldn't be the same I think.  You wouldn't carry it in the right
> way, you would be too self conscious about it, and you would probably give
> it up fairly soon.
> Michael
> ________________________________
> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu on behalf of yuan lai
> Sent: Thu 12/3/2009 6:00 PM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: 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?
>  Yuan
> 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> <
> http://www.umich.edu/%7Ejaylemke <http://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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