Class transition: a life in between

  • Oksana Burak Univertsity of Vienna, Institute for Sociology
Keywords: class-crosser, split identity, social reproduction, inequality, non-reproduction, complexion, origin, affect, social mobility

Abstract

Most scholars within sociology of education focus on the reproductive function of the education system and on inequalities related to it. Rarely attention is paid to cases which don’t reproduce the class of origin. In particularly to the circumstances under which the class-crossers succeed to make an upward transition and to their life after they enter the upper class. However even P. Bourdieu has actually searched for the mechanisms that could prevent reproduction of social inequality by means of education. This topic remains relevant also in the modern time of (un)equal access to the educational institutions. The problem of reconstruction of exiting social order by educational systems has been not solved yet. It would notably contribute to the reduction of social inequality if we could reconstruct the pattern, that promote/hinder social mobility during the education path. In this article, we analyze the class transition experience of P. Bourdieu and D. Eribon based on their self-analysis and try to integrate a new non-reproduction approach of C. Jaquet in this pattern of social mobility through the education. On the basis of the autobiographical life-stories of mentioned above two sociologists we try to reconstruct the main driving force that has enabled them the way up und also to determine how the life of a class-crosser looks after they succeed the transition. After analyzing the work of P. Bourdieu named “Ein soziologischer Selbstversuch” and the work of D. Eribon named “Rückkehr nach Reim” we could confirm an assumption of C. Jaquet that ambition is the most powerful driving force for social mobility. Moreover, we can conclude that not only a person can be willing to leave the milieu of origin, but that he/she can be just displaced by the milieu. In such a situation he/she is a refugee and is forced to flee. In the most cases of escape and desire to climb up the social ladder such “negative” feelings as shame play a role of a driving force. Besides, the fact of social mobility is usually regarded as an end destination when in fact this transition is a process that never ends but transmutes in new forms.

References

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Published
2020-08-30
How to Cite
Burak, O. (2020). Class transition: a life in between. Scientific and Theoretical Almanac Grani, 23(6-7), 5-13. https://doi.org/10.15421/172060
Section
SOCIOLOGY