Re: another view of Panofsky

From: Phil Chappell (
Date: Wed Jun 02 2004 - 06:00:27 PDT

Nancy posited:
> There is evidence in the
> US that middle class White, middle class
> Black, middle class Latinos, middle class Asians are treated
> differentially,
> though
> they may share many of the norms and practices that middle class
> membership
> often entails; it seems that outcomes similar to those arising from
> teachers' and other educators' social class expectations result, but
> based
> on notions about
> race/ethnicity.

Hi Nancy

I know Panofsky's paper dealt explicitly with the ways that the
teachers' discourses and readings of students' habitus impacted on the
learner identities in the classrooms; I have been pondering the
importance of the parallel discourses between learners that shape
identities and agency. I'm pretty new to Bourdieu's work, and only saw
its significance to my practice after reading Jay Lemke's Textual
Politics, but in classrooms where cooperative/collaborative/etc
activity takes place, I can't help but feel that it might be worth
unpacking the social interaction at that level...all criticisms of
progressivism accepted. I used this quote today in a paper I'm writing:

[Habitus] make distinctions between what is good and what is bad,
between what is right and what is wrong, between what is distinguished
and what is vulgar, and so forth, but the distinctions are not
identical…the same behaviour…can appear distinguished to one person,
pretentious to someone else, and cheap or showy to yet another.
Bourdieu, 1998, p. 8 [Practical Reason]

What hidden discourses of power are at work amongst learners, and how
might more equitable learning spaces be negotiated in classrooms for
the learners, by the learners? I asked this question of an educator in
Australia who is dealing with genre approaches to literacy,
incorporating Halliday's and Bernstein's work, and the response was
that this line of praxis might be too expensive and too time consuming.

Too...for what???


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