The reproduction of privilege: young women, the family and private education


The paper examines processes of cultural production and reproduction among members of the elite and upper-middle classes. Drawing on findings from a study of private education in England, it explores the utility of a conceptual framework to examine how practices in and across different sites may be reproductive of various forms of ‘privilege’. Three domains in particular – family, the school and individual young women’s projects of the self – together shape key meanings and orientations informing young women’s lives. These meanings and orientations in turn connect to ‘privileging practices’, both within each domain and beyond. The paper analyses data from three young women in one of the schools studied to illustrate how the framework may be used to examine privately educated young women’s different orientations to the present and the future. Findings point to some of the processes through which class and gender privilege may be variably reproduced

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UCL Discovery

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This paper was published in UCL Discovery.

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